Industry Update

One of the largest salad and vegetable producers G’s Shropshire’s is set to grow 800ha of maize on the Fens, to generate 2.4MW of electricity.

The new venture will serve 4500 houses and also fuel a major new mushroom enterprise which will deliver 100-130t of mushrooms a week for Tesco as part of the supermarkets drive to stock fresh UK produced mushrooms in its stores on a daily basis. The plant will be fed of 40,000t of maize feedstock and supplemented with 20,000t of vegetable trimmings on the side. Farms Director and Grower Will Forbes, see's maize not only as the best means of supplying the bulk and high DM crops for the maximum methane yields, but also as a chance to improve soil management across the rotation, slotting in after wheat and sugarbeet. Maize effectively acts as another break crop in the rotation so where they would ordinarily try to muddle in and plant late wheat, maize allows time for the land to be properly restructured using best practice. Weed beet issues can now be controlled using maize herbicides whereas in the past weed wiping, tractor hoeing and hand pulling have always been required adding another advantage for maize entering into the rotation. However, careful consideration over what the following crop will be is required as some products such as 'Calaris' do have crop restrictions.