Elsoms Seeds, in association with leading European Breeders, SAATEN UNION, Strube, Caussade Semences and Florimond Desprez, has put together a portfolio of proven “Energy Crop” varieties. These will provide farmers with a range of options to achieve optimum energy yields whilst supporting the performance of other crops in the rotation.
Although the UK “Energy Crop” market has lagged behind countries such as Germany and Holland, the UK has been able to benefit from the experience gained in establishing successful “Energy Crop” markets in these countries. As is often the case with new markets, farmers are confronted by a plethora of often confusing and sometimes contradictory information. Elsoms have worked with our plant breeding partners to select a portfolio of “proven” varieties suitable for the UK market in each Energy Crop sector. Elsoms strong portfolio will enable farmers to concentrate on the rotational model, selecting the balance of energy and field crops that will provide their overall business with the best return.
Arguably the ideal energy crop producing VERY high energy yields with a robust growth habit, good drought resistance, excellent ground cover and a long harvesting window. Combining Energy Beet in the rotation with a catch crop such as CONTRA Oil Radish can significantly increase the overall performance of the rotation.
Unlike most Energy Crops, this is an autumn sown crop that can be harvested in early summer. Many farmers are attracted to Hybrid Rye as a means of producing good energy yields using machinery and growing techniques that they are already using for their main cereal crops. Hybrid Rye’s early harvesting window creates the opportunity to use a summer fallow catch crop to improve soil structure and health as well as potentially producing an additional source of biomass.
Maize forms the bed rock of the majority of Energy Crop rotations. Specialist Maize Breeder, Caussade Semences has worked hard to successfully identify and develop varieties specifically for the Energy Crop sector and the UK market.
Similar to Hybrid Rye, Triticale provides growers with good energy yields from an autumn sown, early summer harvested crop. Whilst Hybrid Rye typically produces higher energy yields, Winter Triticale has a wider sowing window, from autumn through to late winter, providing farmers with much greater flexibility in terms of crop choice, particularly when following crops such as Energy Beet. Spring Triticale varieties equally increase a farmer’s rotational choices. Unlike many “spring” crops, Spring Triticale can be sown from late winter through to late spring and can be harvested in mid to late summer.
In the UK, Catch Crops have typically been seen as cheap, short term, autumn ground cover. In Germany, experience has taught growers that sophisticated use of a range of Catch Crops is the key to maximising yields of Energy Crops and Food Crops from the whole farm enterprise.