Miscanthus investment pays off for Worcestershire sheep farmer

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Kidderminster-based sheep farmer Marcus Wilson chose to plant Miscanthus in 2016, after experiencing price volatility in the sheep market; a decision that is now paying dividends. 

In 2016, Mr Wilson planted 42 hectares of Miscanthus on his 62 ha sheep farm, keeping the remaining 20 ha as permanent grass. He did this because the sheep market was volatile and there was an uncertainty surrounding market prices. So, Mr Wilson chose to plant Miscanthus, for an assured income with minimal outgoing costs.

“We built up the Miscanthus area over six years, and all of the hard work, planning and commitment to the long-term crop is really paying off now,” said Mr Wilson, who is yielding between 10 and 14 tonnes of Miscanthus per hectare and is expecting that figure to continue rising over the next few years.

On October 6, Mr Wilson will be showcasing his crop on the Miscanthus breakfast farm walk that is organised by the Miscanthus crop specialists, Terravesta, who Mr Wilson said have been a ‘tremendous support’.

Terravesta said that more and more farmers are planting Miscanthus on their land, to alleviate the uncertainty of market prices. And Mr Wilson can understand why, “when it is established, the crop takes care of itself,” he said. Though he added that putting the time and effort into crop establishment and planting was crucial to his current successes.

To see Mr Wilson’s extensive Miscanthus crop, and to learn more about the benefits of planting Miscanthus, register for the Miscanthus farm walk at www.terravesta.com/events.

The walk will begin at 9.30am and finish at 11.30am, complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits will also be available.

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Journalist. Graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English and Art History. When not working I can be found riding my horses on the Ashdown Forest, reading, shopping, or cooking!