With weather conditions continuing to affect traditional game cover nationwide, farms are now looking to energy crop Miscanthus as a low-maintenance, cost-effective and more reliable alternative.
Unlike maize, sorghum and other typical cover options, Miscanthus offers reliable game cover year after year whatever the weather. It can also be grown successfully on problem land, and its hands-off nature means there is no need for fertilisers, chemicals or annual soil cultivation once it is established.
Andy Lee, Miscanthus expert and Terravesta farms advisory manager says: “Miscanthus is quickly becoming the game cover of choice because of its dependability. Game birds love that it provides excellent shelter and warmth, and for shooters it is particularly attractive - growing up to 12 ft. tall. Whilst there’s no feed value from the crop, game keepers are able to be more strategic with placing feeders, allowing for increased game control.
“For farmers, the annual spring job of planting, fertilising and spraying game cover crops – then ploughing, cultivating and replanting after the season is over (and hoping it all doesn’t fail due to droughts or floods!) - is a thing of the past with Miscanthus. Once established, that’s it - you have dependable, solid cover for all your future shooting seasons to come, even as seasons become increasingly less settled.”
As well as providing reliable game cover, Miscanthus offers even further benefits. With low overheads, minimal inputs, stable yields, clear pricing and a long life, the energy crop provides a level of economic certainty that almost no other crop can. Rising demand and ten-year, secure index-linked Terravesta contracts mean that prices and profits are now at an all-time high. As a result, the crop has become a real arable contender for farmers looking at new profit opportunities for the future.
“Farmers can harvest the crop in February/March and by the shooting season, it will be 12 ft. high again,” adds Andy. “This means they can make yearly profits from their game cover. What’s more, at Terravesta, we’ve launched a Grower Fuel Loop (GFL) scheme, so farmers can even buy back their crop in pellet form, as their own homegrown renewable heat source.”
Terravesta is now offering best-ever prices of £73+ per tonne for 2014 crop. By committing to a 10-year RPIX-linked contract with Terravesta, farmers can benefit from guaranteed returns as well as invaluable, expert support at every stage of the process.
Find out more by visiting, www.terravesta.com or call 01522 731873.