Miscanthus or elephant grass as it is sometimes known, is a biomass crop that originated in South East Asia. It was initially introduced into Europe as an ornamental garden plant but over recent years has become one of the driving forces in biomass crop production.
Primarily Miscanthus is used as an energy crop but extensive work has been carried out on its use in other markets. The animal bedding market being the main one as the crop meets all the desired factors in a bedding.
It is very absorbent, being able to absorb up to three times its own weight in moisture, and its woody nature means the dust content is low, avoiding respiratory problems.
Miscanthus is defined as being carbon neutral. The carbon dioxide emitted can be balanced out by the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere while the plant is growing.
There are no fertilisers or pesticides used on the crop once it is established. This is what makes the crop so different to most conventional crops as it is energy efficient and far more friendly to the environment.
How it works
Miscanthus is a bamboo-like structure with a spongy inner core; the outer casing gives structure while the inner core gives extreme absorbency. The plant absorbs smells and liquids keeping them locked within the outer structure.
Benefits of Miscanthus
Easy to grow
Annual growing cycle
Increases wildlife biodiversity
Eligible for cross compliance
Excellent game cover