IBERS hosts Miscanthus information day for farmers
08 September 2017
In response to growing interest in Miscanthus, researchers at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) will host a field visit and information day for farmers on Thursday 28 September 2017.
Miscanthus is a perennial carbon-negative renewable energy crop which is currently grown on around 8,000 hectares of low-grade marginal land in the UK.
Open day organiser Dr Jon McCalmont said: “The challenges of the end of the Common Agricultural Policy, the need to decarbonise energy production and the on-going search for diversification opportunities means that the rapidly developing market for this giant grass offers great opportunities for farming.”
Scientists at IBERS have been breeding and developing Miscanthus as a bioenergy crop for over a decade, working closely with industrial partners and commercial market supply chain specialists, Terravesta.
The day will include a visit to a large scale Miscanthus plantation - an opportunity to see an impressive, unfertilised mature crop standing at over 3m (10ft) tall, and to discuss the agronomy involved in its establishment and harvesting.
This will be followed by a visit to Glanystwyth farm near Trawscoed where farmer Richard Tudor has been using the harvest from this field as bedding for his 1800 breeding ewes.
Lunch will be provided at Aberystwyth University’s IBERS’ Upland Research Platform at Pwllpeiran, and will include a presentation about market opportunities and the economics of Miscanthus production by Terravesta.
The day will conclude with an opportunity to see another field trial in the uplands where researchers are testing new hybrids of Miscanthus under more challenging environmental conditions.