Growth and quality characteristics of Miscanthus "Giganteus" for industrial and energy use
Miscanthus, as a perennial rhizomatous grass. fulfils many of the characteristics of an ideal industial and energy crop. The comparatively high yield, is obtained with a minimum of soil tillage, fertiliser and pesticide inputs. The growth characteristics of Miscanthus compared with maize and Arundo donax are presented and growth traits of Miscanthus 'Giganteus' are discussed in terms of quality. Experimental data from Hornum in the north of Jutland, Denmark, and from Rheinberg (North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) are compared. When harvested in spring, M. 'Giganteus' achieved maximum dry matter yields, of up to 15 t/ha at Hornum and in excess of more than 20 t/ha at Rheinberg. The average yield of M 'Giganteus' of 16 T/ha in Rheinberg was obtained close to trials with A. donax and maize. Soil conditions varied from sand to loam. The climate of the site is not optimal for the growth of A. donax whick gave a dry matter yield of 5.8 t/ha in 1996.