A NEW study has found that Miscanthus not only grows well on flood-prone land but hit helps to stabilise the waterlogged soils.

Dr Jason Kam, lead author on the study by the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, said crop quality is not affected by excess water.

"There is no significant difference in yield and other physiological development," he said. "Observed height and tiller number have no differences between winter flooded and non-flooded ground."

With estimates from the Environment Agency stating that the annual soil erosion rate for the UK is 2.2 million tonnes of topsoil with more than 17 per cent of arable land showing signs of erosion, finding ways to stabilise our soils is now critical.

Dr Kam said: "Because of Miscanthus’ perennial nature, annual planting is not needed. This therefore reduces soil disturbance to a minimum. The structure of Miscanthus rhizome and root helps to stabilise soils, making it more resilient against flood-caused soil erosion."

Miscanthus specialist Terravesta says that interest in the crop has never been greater.

Alex Robinson, general manager, said: "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, it also feeds depleted soils, retaining vital nutrients."

The company launched Terravesta Athena in June 2019, which is the world’s first commercially bred Miscanthus hybrid variety, delivering a much faster establishment and quicker yield ramp up, improving grower return on investment. The cut off for orders of Terravesta Athena for Spring 2020 pla nting is December 15.

To find out more about planting Miscanthus visit www.terravesta.com.