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Energy crop might help restore flooded farmland.

WELSH scientists are exploring the use of miscanthus as a commercial crop on flood-prone land.

As well as providing fuel for biomass, it is believed that miscanthus may help improve soils after extensive flooding.

A series of trials are being launched on the Somerset Levels 18 months after the area's devastating floods.

They are being run jointly by IBERS at Aberystwyth University, and miscanthus supply chain specialists Terravesta.

"We know miscanthus has the ability to tolerate flooding when it's mature, but there's a gap in the data about its tolerance during the first two years of growth," said Aberystwyth plant physiologist Dr Sarah Purdy.

Miscanthus is a perennial crop that is thought to be beneficial to soil because it has a 20-year life cycle, during which time no ploughing is needed.

It also has a large underground rhizome which captures nitrogen and other nutrients, avoiding the need for fertilisers.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Dec 10, 2015
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