In addition, Lincoln University’s Dr Steve Wratten has been a major support to the development and use of Miscanthus and he has provided a completely independent – and positive – viewpoint on the value of use of Miscanthus on farms. Miscanthus mulch has also been tried for home garden use by several people and all have been happy with the results. Miscanthus New Zealand. It grows up to 4 metres tall and is showing promise for a variety of primary industry applications. Although that’s not likely to be this year, Brown believed it would be successful and could lead to Fonterra planting miscanthus on a commercial scale at its Darfield and Clandeboye site­s. Regions with drier climates such as Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Canterbury are obvious choices and they are all good places for growing Miscanthus providing there is adequate water supply. Miscanthus was an option for fuel in the future. The research reports that are included on this website under the Lincoln Research Project are produced under his direction by a Ph.D. student, Chris Littlejohn. Field trials also showed that Miscanthus is tolerant of poor soil quality. At the time that this chat was due to be published, there was a lot of discussion going on about how this would best be done, how much time it would take to do it, and what the cost would be. The fact that Miscanthus mulch can easily be certified to be organic is an additional benefit. Miscanthus x giganteus is now used commercially in Europe for bedding, heat, and electricity generation. No chemicals were sprayed because the plant took care of any weeds and attracted few insect pests. It is softer than traditional beddings and is a cost-effective alternative to wood shavings. Miscanthus likes a moist, but free-draining soil. Wratten said they identified 15 specific benefits such as shelter for animals and increasing biodiversity as habitat for the likes of skinks and bumblebees. After those first years, mechanical scarification of the soil is used in those orchards for weed control. Exposure. Cut back to about 20cm each spring. The crop has a useful life of at least 25 years. Miscanthus x giganteus is a sterile hybrid reaching heights of 3.5 – 4.0 metres each season, once it is established. You have to grow it at least 10 years for it to be successful on an economic scale.”. It is also a leading candidate feedstock for cellulosic ethanol. He is now very keen for his local garden centre to stock Miscanthus mulch – for both commercial use and home use. Before you know it takes off and becomes the norm.”. Two other dairy companies are also already committed to being directly financially involved.