Planning ahead and nurturing his crop is paying dividends for Kidderminster-based sheep farmer, Marcus Wilson, who is now yielding up to 14 tonnes per hectare of Miscanthus.
Marcus will be showcasing his extended and successful crop on a Miscanthus breakfast farm walk on Thursday, October 6, organised by crop specialist, Terravesta.
Marcus was ahead of the game when recognising Miscanthus as a long-term solution to price volatility.
Over the past six years, Marcus has planted a large area – 42 hectares of Miscanthus on his 62-hectare farm.
“It is hard to believe that the fields where the tall Miscanthus crops are now thriving was all grass until 2016,” says Marcus.
“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.
“We already yield between 10 to 14 tonnes per hectare of Miscanthus, depending on conditions – and we are expecting that figure to keep rising over the next couple of years. We have faith in the crop and have had tremendous support from the Terravesta team.”
Marcus also has 20 hectares of permanent grass plus 200 ewes on his farm, which is 200 feet above sea level and has average rainfull.
The sheep market was already volatile in 2016, leaving farmers uncertain about market prices. So Marcus chose Miscanthus as a good buffer to provide him with an assured income with minimal costs. Many farmers are still in the same position today and Marcus believes that they could benefit from planting Miscanthus too.
Marcus believes putting time and effort into planting and crop establishment was crucial to the success he has enjoyed, and this takes good planning.
“When it is established, the crop takes care of itself,” he said.
Marcus was amazed at how much and how quickly the Miscanthus thickened up after first being planted six years ago.
Uptake for Miscanthus is continuing to see a rapid shift, according to crop expert Terravesta, with more farmers planting up marginal land with the crop, in a bid to alleviate future uncertainty on prices.
To register for the Miscanthus farm walk taking place on Thursday 6th October, visit www.terravesta.com/events