Greenhouse Canada

Specialty planters for miscanthus growers

August 4, 2010  By Dave Harrison


Specialty planters for miscanthus growers

Growers of the energy crop miscanthus
now have two planters available from New Energy Farms.

Aug. 4, 2010, Leamington, Ont. – Growers of the energy crop miscanthus now have two planters available from New Energy Farms (, the leading miscanthus development company in North America and the EU.


Founder of New Energy Farms Group, Dean Tiessen. This is a new, warm
season, later flowering cultivar under large scale trials at the New
Energy Farms site in Canada. The crop is currently half way through the
growing season and just over three metres in height.


Founder of New Energy Farms Group, Dr. Paul Carver. Seen here is Dr.
Carver inspecting the outdoor growing system by Lewis Taylor Farms, a
New Energy Farms Affiliate Partner, in Tifton, Georgia.

Miscanthus is a perennial grass harvested each year for the bamboo-like
cane stems, which are classed as renewable biomass and are used to generate
green electricity and heat and liquid biofuel. Miscanthus is planted once and
can remain productive for over 20 years; it is important that every effort is
made to maximize crop establishment in the year it is planted.


New Energy Farms Automatic Miscanthus planter developed and built by WH Loxton Ltd.

Commercial miscanthus crops are planted from rhizomes (underground
stems), and as the industry has developed and the demand for miscanthus biomass
increased, it has been necessary to develop the equipment to enable growers to
successfully plant their crops. In many respects, miscanthus is no different
from all other arable crops when it comes to establishing good plant stands. It
is a combination of the correct seed bed, equipment developed for the specific
crop and high quality planting material – in this instance fresh rhizomes.

New Energy Farms (NEF) has pioneered an affiliate program across North
America and the EU which regionalizes the production of miscanthus rhizomes,
ensuring that any affiliates who plant commercial crops for biomass production
do so from freshly harvested rhizomes. This high quality planting material
coupled with the choice of planters from NEF will produce high quality stands
of miscanthus.

NEF has announced its relationship with WH Loxton Ltd.
( ). Affiliates and research collaborators now have
access to an NEF automatic miscanthus planter, developed by WH Loxton Ltd, the
most experienced developer of these planters. This is a robust four-row planter
that has been widely used throughout Europe for a number of years. NEF recently
imported two models into Canada, where they planted miscanthus crops in this
past spring. It has a very efficient “separation” system in the rhizome storage
hopper to tease apart the individual rhizomes before they are delivered down
the carefully designed coulters into the furrows.

The new addition to the NEF machinery lineup is the NEF Precision
Planter, the only precision planter that is available to plant miscanthus. This
has been developed and assembled using genuine Grimme components and can
deliver a range of precise plant spacings. The planter is a four-row unit.

A number of planters are available for 2011, and New Energy Farms is the
only company able to offer this precision planter. It is available to NEF
Affiliates involved in miscanthus multiplication or large scale production
planting, and by researchers who wish to have very high levels of precision in
their experimentation.

Both planters are available to NEF Affiliates and research
organizations to either purchase, lease or rent. Please contact New Energy
Farms for details of these costs and for more detailed specifications of the
two types of miscanthus planters.

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