HARVESTING

Miscanthus is harvested annually during spring, typically with conventional farm machinery. After growing vigorously during the summer, Miscanthus stops growing during autumn. The leaves drop off the crop and the stems dry as the winter proceeds reaching a moisture content of approximately 30% the following spring. Harvested biomass with lower moisture content is easier to store and the calorific value of biomass increases with decreasing moisture content. Early harvesting of Miscanthus (January, February) can produce a product with high moisture and leaf content which will be unsuitable for many applications. In contrast, delayed harvesting (late April) can damage the new growth of the emerging crop. The optimum time of harvest is between these two extremes, generally in March or early April. Miscanthus can be harvested by mowing and baling. Alternatively, the crop can be cut and chipped using a forager equipped with a Kemper header.