New crop trials promises a viable maize alternative
|Authors & editors|
|Publisher||Milling & Grain|
|Year of publication||2022|
|Scope & content||Early trials are underway ahead of a major UK-wide agronomy trial of a low-input, high-output perennial crop that promises to replace maize, with the aim of solving many of the problems associated with cropping rotation. |
Trials in Kent, north Lincolnshire and South Wales will test the performance of Sunergy, whose Latin name is Silphium perfoliatum. Also known as compass or cup plant, it is a member of the Asteraceae family, has a 10–15-year life span, and once established is resilient, reliable, and unaffected by major pests or diseases, whilst also offering significant environmental and financial benefits.
Sunergy has a wide range of end uses, including as an anaerobic digestion (AD) fuel, ruminant feed, and even as a human food source. It has a complex root structure which acts as a carbon sink while improving soil health, as well as offering an excellent nectar source for pollinators.
Read more about Offsetting carbon emissions and the ‘Holy Grail’ of modern farming.