Growers interested in learning about perennial energy crop miscanthus are invited to a free farm walk next month.

Hosted by Norfolk farmer Algy Garrod, the AF Group and Terravesta on 7 September, the walk will explore how planting miscanthus on the 405ha farm has helped to future-proof the business.

Algy says he plants miscanthus in the awkward corners of his fields, wet areas and on heavy land, to make the most of less productive areas. “When I looked at my yield maps certain areas of the farm performed poorly on an annual basis, typically areas on the edges of fields, so I took the decision to grow miscanthus. I’ve straightened these fields with GPS, taking out bits near hedgerows or curved field margins and edges.”

Making efficiencies

He’s planted 10ha of the biomass crop in total and says his aim is to replace some of the lost subsidies while improving sprayer efficiency. “My sprayer works better when it’s driving in a straight line rather than going around corners, which causes inaccuracies in the application of our inputs,” he says.

The farm’s other diversification projects include a farm shop, growing niche vegetable crops to supply the shop, pumpkin picking and Christmas trees.

Algy says an added benefit of the miscanthus is it provides game cover. “I now have permanent cover which means I don’t have to establish it every year, which is a big advantage,” he says.

Farm walk

The farm walk runs from 9.30-11:30am and will include a presentation from crop specialist, Terravesta, a talk from AG Group’s Lee Oxborough, a tour of the crop, and light refreshments.

To book a place, visit