Demonstrator Hub Update – BGI, Chesham – June 2024

09 July 2024

June 2024 – BGI, Chesham Demonstrator Hub Update

BGI Site Plan

BGI Site Plan

It’s been business as usual during June at the BGI Demonstrator Hub. All crops are now in full leaf and daily tasks are proceeding as planned. We’re looking into the possibility of drone spraying for Miscanthus, but it’s early days in these investigations so far. It was all hands on deck to plant 1104 willow rods at the beginning of the month.

Crop Diaries

Click on the titles below to find out how each of the crops are progressing.


  • The SRF alder is in full leaf now and looking good.

Black Locust

  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo’ and SRF black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ are being monitored and updates will follow next month.


  • The SRF Eucalyptus is looking good.


  • The SRF poplar and SRC poplar is now in full leaf.


  • The 0.5 ha Miscanthus giganteus is growing well with just a few gaps. Weeds are being dealt with where the gaps are as there is no canopy to stop weed growth. We are also working with a local Drone Company to see what HSE applications and costs are, with the potential of drone spraying.
  • The 0.5 ha Miscanthus Athena™ plot was planted on 2/5/2024. Between 50/60% have emerged and are already shooting up. We are organising the application of Agritox (MCPA) @ 2 l/ha and Starane @ 0.6 l/ha. We are also working with a local Drone Company to see what HSE applications and costs are, with potential of drone spraying.


  • The 0.5 ha SRC willow is in leaf and growing tall, over 6ft. Willow rods for gapping up arrived and were soaked overnight prior to planting on 6th & 7th June. They are already shooting up and looking good. There were 1104 rods altogether:
    • 276 rods of Roth Cheviot

    • 276 rods of Resolution

    • 276 rods of Endurance

    • 276 rods of RR07160

  • The grass aisles between the willow have been mowed.


  • The sida was hand weeded and we have watered recent plantings.

Reed Canary Grass

  • The reed canary grass seed was broadcast on 02/05/2024 and was already germinating and visible on 28/05/2024.
  • It’s a little patchy but coming through.


  • The Silphium was sown on 02/05/224.
  • So far there is no sign of germination.

Plans and Actions

  • The Miscanthus plots have been sprayed using the herbidome.
  • The Eucalyptus, SRF poplar and SRC poplar were sprayed with Glysopahte and have also been mowed.
  • The wildflowers (sowed AB8 Nectar Stewardship) look fantastic particularly at the bottom of the Biomass Connect plot…. the bees and butterflies are loving it.

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