“The growing popularity of AD plants has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for “energy” crops to fuel them, with farmers now increasingly growing Hybrid Rye to replace or supplement maize, for many the original first choice energy source,” according To Bob Miles, Elsoms Seeds Agricultural Director. “With seed now arrived from Germany we are flat out delivering onto farms,” said Bob. “We have seen a real acceleration in AD plant owners’ knowledge of how to get the best out of their facility,” he added. “Clearly the lessons learned over several years in Germany as to the value of Hybrid Rye in improving AD plant efficiency are now transferring over to the UK, judging from the high level of interest and strong sales we are experiencing” said Bob.
“We had a lot of interest in SU Drive at Cereals 2013 and have had to significantly increase the volume of seed allocated to the UK as a result,” commented Adrian Hayler, Elsoms Sales Manager. “SU Drive has a very high dry matter yield and is early ripening, but what farmers really seem to like is that it also has strong resistance to Brown Rust and Rynchosporium, which gives it a very robust all-round package” added Adrian.
“Hybrid rye can make a very significant difference to the performance of an AD plant,” says Bob. “The addition of hybrid rye to beet or maize provides a different nutrient source for the bacteria in the digester, having a 2 pronged synergistic effect, increasing methane yield and reducing retention time in the digester,” continued Bob. “Retention time is very significant as rye will take only 20 days to breakdown in the digester compared with 80 days for maize. The usual ratio for inclusion is 25% rye to 75% maize,” he concluded.
“Originally farmers were focused on maize and beet as a means of “feeding“ their plants, but for many this has put a real strain on spring and autumn workloads with potential impacts on the rest of the rotation” commented Adrian. “Hybrid rye provides much more flexibility, neatly fitting around other crops with a very broad drilling window through into late autumn and an early summer harvest period,” he added.