NEF supply Miscanthus for game cover.
Miscanthus has been used for many years by shoots, often on farms where the crop is being grown for renewable energy, but in recent years the perennial nature of the crop (it is planted once and the game cover will last for 15+ years if required) has led to an increase in game cover plantings.
It is mainly used for pheasant and partridge cover but we do have examples of it being used for Wild Boar
The benefits of a Miscanthus game cover crop are,
- No need to replant each year as Miscanthus regrows each year, giving 15 years or longer of perennial cover with no annual fertilizer requirement.
- Extremely low maintenance requirement; the crop dies off over winter providing tall canes and deep leaf litter in the spring.
- Warm and secure environment in winter, the high levels of leaf litter hold birds and animals and encourage further biodiversity.
- In March/April each year the Miscanthus regrows to a height of 3m to 4m. This crop height ensures that the leaves are well above the ground giving a dry bottom to the crop.
Images of Miscanthus used for game cover are enclosed below, in some commercial energy crops rides are cut through the crops but in most cases Miscanthus is planted in wide strips.
NEF also supplies planters for hire (in some regions).
Planting densities for this market would be in the range of 4,000 to 6,000 per acre (10,000 to15,000/ha) depending on the density of stand required.