FARMERS looking to hedge the uncertainty of Brexit are being invited to consider growing miscanthus, an energy crop that offers a long-term, stable income – and helps the environment.

A hardy perennial crop that is harvested annually, it has the potential to give the farmer a return of more than £900 per hectare from mature yield.

The crop grows up to 14 feet high providing a good habitat for wildlife. It also benefits soils and absorbs more carbon than it releases in its lifetime.

North Yorkshire farmer Richard McNeil is showcasing his miscanthus crop on a farm walk on February 28.

He farms at Redmoor Farm, North Duffield, near Selby, and said: “We planted 24 hectares of miscanthus in 2008, when cereal crops were making £60 per tonne, and it’s offered a stable income ever since.

“We’re thinking of planting more miscanthus, because it’s a low input crop which generally takes care of itself, and its harvested in the spring, meaning labour and farm machinery is available and the price of contracting isn’t as competitive as the summer months.”

He says the crop has not only benefitted the farm financially, but it has increased the biodiversity on the farm, and soil records show that over eight years, with no fertiliser applied to the miscanthus, the soil has maintained the same level of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (NPK).

“The limited inputs in miscanthus, the benefits to wildlife, soil health, and the price security means that it’s a no brainer for me,” said Mr McNeil. “Terravesta has long-term contracts with power stations, which in turn, have long-term Government support.”

Increased demand for miscanthus from Brigg power station in Lincolnshire and Snetterton in Norfolk, means more planting is needed in surrounding counties, including Yorkshire.

The farm walk is run by Terravesta – the miscanthus supply chain specialists behind the growth of the miscanthus market. The Terravesta team will outline the life-cycle of the crop, harvest best practice, and timings. They will offer planting advice, explain machinery requirements, update on the limited crop inputs needed, and financial returns available.

Delegates will also have the chance to view miscanthus fields, ask questions, and be given a light lunch, where there’s the opportunity to chat with the team and other farmers about the crop.

The walk starts at 10.30am on February 28. To book, visit and click on the orange sash on the home page, or email Jacob Duce at