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Your common Miscanthus and MFiber questions answered

 


What is the variety of Miscanthus used by MFiber?
MFiber is made using Miscanthus x giganteus which is a cross between the two more common ornamental grasses, Miscanthus x sinensis and Miscanthus x sacchariflorus.

Where does Miscanthus originate?
It is a native C4 perennial grass of Asia.

Is Miscanthus planted every year?
Miscanthus is a perennial grass which allows it to be planted once and will continue to grow year after year, just like your lawn at home.

Does it produce seed?
Yes, Miscanthus produces a small sterile seed that will not grow new plants. The seeds are not used to make MFiber, instead we harvest and process the plant’s stalk.

If there is no seed, then how is it propagated/planted?
Because Miscanthus does not produce viable seed, the only way to plant the crop is via rhizomes. Rhizomes are stem parts of a plant that are usually found underground. Roots and shoots both come off of the rhizomes. Rhizomes are also called creeping rootstalks or rootstocks.

Do the rhizomes move very far underground?
Miscanthus rhizomes are not nearly as aggressive as some other grasses like Bermuda. One would expect a mature plant to only get about 3 feet across.

Where does it grow best?
Zones 5-9 show Miscanthus to grow very well. That being said, MFiber feels the highest yields are obtained in the Midwest of the United States of America.

Does Miscanthus require a lot of fertilizer?
Miscanthus loves nutrients and does a great job of gathering nutrients deep in the soil.  It does well on both poor soils and very productive soils. MFiber has found that productive soils will typically produce higher tonnage, however, high tonnage can be obtained on poor soils with small amounts of fertilizer.

When is Miscanthus harvested?
Miscanthus is harvested in late fall and winter once the plant has gone dormant though the senescence process and before it starts growing again in the spring.

How is Miscanthus harvested?
There are many ways in which Miscanthus can be harvested, but at Renew Biomass, we found that due to the volume of material we produce and the need to ship the material to a processing facility, the best way to harvest is by mowing/conditioning and baling into large 4x8 feet square bales.  The large square bales fit well on trucks for transportation and stack more efficiently in our hay storage facilities. Large square bales are also easier to handle in our first processing step at the manufacturing facility.


 


Eric Allphin
Eric Allphin, Director of Agriculture
Eric Allphin is a native to Southwest Missouri. He was born in Joplin, Missouri and grew up near Granby, Missouri on a small hobby beef farm. After graduating high school at East Newton, Eric served a two-year mission in Costa Rica for his church. Upon returning home, he received his Associates Degree at Crowder College and transferred to University of Missouri where he graduated in December 2009 with his Bachelor of Science in animal science. After completion of his bachelorís, Eric decided to further expand his knowledge into agriculture as he felt both degrees would complement each other. Eric received and assistantship with the University of Missouri and worked closely with USDA-ARS. His research was focused around how crop performance changed depending upon the landscape in which that crop was planted. So how corn, soybeans and also perennial grasses like switchgrass or Miscanthus would perform on different topsoil depths. His research was very conclusive, and Eric graduated with his Master of Science in crop, soil and pest management in December 2011. After owning an ag consulting business for a few years, Eric accepted the position of Director of Agriculture/Agronomist for Renew Biomass. Eric focuses his efforts toward the agricultural side of our business; managing the production of Miscanthus on over 5,000 acres. Most importantly, Eric has been married to his beautiful wife, Rachel, for 10 years. They have 3 children: Maveric, Wyatt and Emery.