‘Super Grass’ Herbal Leys as a Cash Crop for Arable Farmers
Anaerobic digestion is headline news at the moment, as a green energy alternative to fracking. Cotswold Seeds Technical Advisor Paul Totterdell was interviewed by Reuters to talk about the benefits of herbal leys in connection with green energy firm Ecotricity’s plans for a series of green gas power plants to produce gas which can be directly pumped into the grid.
Increasingly there's talk of using ‘Super Grass’ or high biomass and diverse herbal leys as the green material of choice for green energy, as opposed to maize and other monocultures. Not only does this mean that anaerobic digestion will be good for soil fertility, but it presents a real opportunity for arable farmers to introduce deep-rooting, nitrogen fixing, soil improving leys into their rotation as a cash crop which, while adding to their bottom line, will also be an investment for agriculture in general, improving soil biology and nutrient content. These leys also provide for pollinators, so are good for the environment in many ways.