Industrial crops for sustainable energy and materials on show at the RWAS Grass and Muck event

11 June 2024

The Sustainable Grass and Muck event held on Thursday, 30th May 2024, at Aberystwyth University Farm, Trawsgoed, was a significant gathering for sharing knowledge on sustainable agricultural practices in the face of changing climatic conditions. The event, one of the largest of its kind in the UK, drew visitors from across the country.

Biomass Connect and Miscanspeed staff, in collaboration with the Miscanthus research team from the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences (IBERS), coordinated a stand at the event. Their display featured the Miscanthus plots at the farm, offering visitors a first-hand experience with the growing Miscanthus plants and highlighting their end uses.

To help demonstrate the use of on-farm grassland machinery for the harvest of Miscanthus, visitors saw a Heston type baler and both large square bales and round bales made this spring. Additionally, there was a sample of the crop that had been put through a straw chopper. This machine, common on livestock farms, helps reduce labour and efficiently spreads bedding in livestock housing. There were also examples of commercially available chipped bedding on display.

Alpacas from the Pwllpeiran Upland Research Platform were present, demonstrating Miscanthus as a bedding material. Many visitors showed interest in using Miscanthus bales as a cost-effective alternative to conventional straw.

Team members took the opportunity to guide farmers through the Miscanthus plots, introducing them to researchers and discussing the benefits of these crops. These benefits include improving soil structure, enhancing carbon capture, better water management, energy production and diverse biorefining opportunities.

This stand at the event helped to highlight the potential of growing Miscanthus and other sustainable practices to ensure efficient agricultural production amidst climate change challenges.

Back to latest news

Latest News