Demonstrator Hub Updates – May 2024

27 June 2024

The month of May has seen much activity at the Biomass Connect Demonstrator Hubs. The very wet spring months have had an effect on pretty much all 8 sites but things are drying out everywhere with the approach of summer. Sites such as North Wyke in Devon and Cockle Park Farm in Northumberland have only recently been able to get machinery on the land. Weed control has been a very difficult task for all demonstrator hub managers, some sites have been worse than others.

  • Miscanthus Athena™ planting has been undertaken at all sites and has now been completed. The last site, North Wyke was planted the week commencing 3rd June.
  • Sida has been delivered to and planted at 6 of the UK mainland sites. The final site, SRUC Auchincruive is scheduled for planting the week beginning 10/06/24
  • Most sites have received their Eucalyptus plugs for gapping up and the same is true of the willows.
  • Silphium, switchgrass and reed canary grass have been sown in the perennial grass plots at many of the hub sites during May and the 2024 Miscanthus variety trials plots have been planted and are beginning to grow too.
  • A few of the crops such as the black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ are struggling here and there, but they could just be slow to get going. Generally, things are growing well and there has been little pressure from grazing, pests or diseases.

The first soil dataset from across the eight Biomass Connect Demonstrator Hub sites has now also been published. This dataset contains the baseline measurements of key soil properties, including carbon, bulk density and pH, which are critical to assess the impacts of biomass crops on soils through future repeat sampling. Read more in the following news story: First Demonstrator Hub Soil Data Published

As usual, there are links to updates from the demonstrator hubs below for you to see what has been happening around the country.

Demonstrator Hub Updates May 2024

The reports above include a huge selection of photos from each of the demonstrator hubs. Here are just a few of them

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