Soil, water and air quality recovery will be discussed alongside carbon trading at a miscanthus farm walk in Louth, Lincolnshire during two farm walks on the 20th of January and 17th of February.
The events, co-hosted by Anglian Water and Terravesta, will look at practical steps for farmers to benefit wildlife and profit from nature recovery, with an additional focus on carbon traders from carbon standard pioneers Agreena.
Through new government schemes, including the Landscape Recovery Scheme, the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Local Nature Recovery, long-term, large scale and ecosystem recovery projects will be put in place across the UK and this event will provide farmers with information on natural capital management.
Miscanthus is said to be low input, carbon-negative crop and has been hailed as a robust diversification option for an arable or mixed enterprise and has proven benefits to soil restoration and fertility, increasing soil carbon and organic matter, as well as restoring soil life and slowing flooding.
“The first dedicated, independent, peer-reviewed study into the Miscanthus carbon life cycle shows that the crop is net carbon negative, capturing net 2.35 tonnes CO2e per hectare, per year in the soil at the very least,” explained Alex Robinson, Terravesta chief operating officer.
Anglian Water’s senior agronomy advisor, Richard Reynolds says that miscanthus can also benefit water quality. “I believe that Miscanthus can offer farmers a useful and cost-effective long-term crop which mitigate the water quality risks we see – including nutrient and pesticide loss, and soil erosion.
“Anglian Water believes that Miscanthus has a role to plan in many farm rotations and compares well in the long term to other biofuel crops,” said Mr Reynolds.
The crop on show
The host of the walk is arable farmer Peter Strawson, who grows 34 hectares of Terravesta’s Athena miscanthus variety.
“The Miscanthus is on good quality land but it’s outlying, meaning the combine etc has to be moved a long way, so it’s not practical or cost-effective to grow cereals on it.
“The agricultural sector is hopelessly uncertain, and with Miscanthus you have some most welcome long-term assurance. Generally, Miscanthus takes care of itself after its establishment and you don’t have to supervise or cultivate it.
“You don’t need sophisticated machinery to harvest it and local contractors are experienced with the crop,” Mr Strawson explained.
For more information and book a place on the walk go to www.terravesta.com