PLANTING MATERIALS

The Miscanthus genotype with the greatest biomass potential to date is Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a sterile hybrid of M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis parentage. Giant Miscanthus produces no seed, so it must be established vegetatively by planting divided rhizome pieces or live plants. This process results in high up-front establishment costs relative to crops established from seed, but comparatively reduced costs over the lifetime of the stand.  A planting rate of 16,000 rhizomes/ha is recommended to give an emergence of 10-15,000 plants/ha for optimum yield.  Rhizomes need to be planted at a depth of 5-10 cm. The optimal planting time for rhizomes is from March to April. Early planting takes advantage of spring-time soil moisture and allows an extended first season of growth.

Planted crop will have a rhizome multiplication factor of 15 after 4 years. Therefore a crop planted today will produce approximately 150,000 rhizomes per hectare by the end of year 3. Planting the regenerated rhizomes at a rate of 15,000 per hectare should provide enough rhizomes to plant another 10 hectares.