Miscanthus fields difficult to get rid of

Miscanthus fields difficult to get rid of
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Miscanthus has proven to be a very risky crop in Region 8 as well as unpopular. However, it is not as easy to get rid of as many would think.

It was first brought about years ago as a purpose to create biofuel.

"For whatever reason, it never took off leaving a lot of fields planted with big bales on the side of the road just staying there," said Chris Grimes, an extension agent with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension office.

Grimes said some growers have been able to destroy the crop and replace it with dryland soybeans.

"They kill the plant by tilling their land or gathering it up and burning it in a controlled situation to remove it," said Grimes. "It looks like regular grass, but unfortunately for what it is and what its purpose was meant to be, the market never materialized like they expected."

Miscanthus was planted on low productive, non-irrigated fields, according to Grimes.

"This was a way for farmers to try to bring in revenue off fields like this that would require little maintenance," said Grimes. "You will see a lot of these bales of Miscanthus posted up along Crowley's Ridge in Greene County."

Grimes said, unfortunately, if the Miscanthus has already been harvested, you don't have many options.

"When it is already rolled up in bales, it is harvested so there is not much you can do to get rid of it," said Grimes. "The only thing you can do is hope that there is someone up north or anyone interested in buying it, but if that can't happen, you are stuck with it on your land. Burning it is obviously not an option because we see how dangerous it can be."

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