Miscanthus farm walk to showcase crop on flooded land

A farm walk planned for the new year offers farmers the chance to see for themselves how Miscanthus has helped to reduce flooding on a Yorkshire farm.

New research has shown that the crop not only thrives on waterlogged land, but it can also help to stabilise flooded soils.

The event planned for Wednesday, January 29, 2020, will showcase a Miscanthus crop growing on flooded Yorkshire farmland.

Farm walk hosts, Fergus and Christopher Payne, first planted 25ha of Miscanthus in spring 2016 on waterlogged land with soil varying from sandy loam to heavy blue clay.

“Before Miscanthus, the fields were hard work to manage. We ended up putting them in fallow for the most part. We also had a blackgrass issue,” explained Fergus Payne.

“We’re looking forward to our third harvest in winter/spring 2020 and the crop has done well despite the varying soil types.

The clay patch – that didn’t grow as well initially – has recovered now, the blackgrass is visibly being smothered and we aren’t seeing so much waterlogging.

Fergus advises that Miscanthus requires some weed control during the spring months, and that the ground needs to be well prepared in the autumn before spring planting.

“Other than that, it’s a good low-maintenance crop for poor farmland that is otherwise expensive and time consuming to manage,” he said.

Ben Booth is part of the Terravesta planting team, which is co-hosting the visit. He said there has been a lot of interest this year for flooded fields.

“As a solution to land that is becoming increasingly unlikely to plant up with arable crops, Miscanthus is a profitable option.”

“Miscanthus not only helps to stabilise land, but it also feeds depleted soils retaining vital nutrients,” he said.

The Miscanthus farm walk takes place on Wednesday, January 29 in Holme-on-spalding-moor,
East Yorkshire. Bookings can be made at on the Terravesta website.