Although farming in this area is mainly dairy cattle, a fair area immediately around us is given over to growing Miscanthus, or ‘Elephant’ Grass. This is harvested, dried, and used as bio-fuel, but can also be used as non-synthetic bedding for intensive chicken farming or horses. The grass grows to around 2m tall, and after harvesting, grows again the following spring. This is some of the last of this year’s crop still standing.
The extremely hot summer last year not only caused low grass yields for farmers, but has left meadows in poor condition this year. Several of our local dairy farmers have had to plough up meadows this year and plant with maize to give the ground chance to recover.