Miscanthus is a perennial crop that, once established, does not require tillage. Expected life of a stand is 15 years or more.
Planting a perennial crop for biomass can improve soil quality by building up organic matter and capturing carbon – while not depleting the land of nutrients.
As the crop matures, the plants mobilize the minerals, moving them back to the roots.
Soil erosion is reduced due to the extensive root structure and growth cycle of the crop.
A cover crop like miscanthus will take up excess water, help prevent erosion and limit runoff.
Over the years, an established crop will act to retain more water than with other alternative cropping systems, providing more resilience during periods of drought.
Biomass crops can act as a filter for water to help meet the requirements of effluent management plans. This ability can help protect ground water from contamination, if properly managed.
According to research from the University of Illinois, water quality can be improved by reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides for crop production.