Reed canary grass (Phalaris spp.) is a native perennial C3 grass that is propagated by seed or rhizome. It grows to a maximum height of 2m and produces a maximum yield of 12.5odt/ha/yr (48.8 odt/ha over six years). It is a good short–term energy crop, especially as this it has much lower establishment costs (around £341/ha) than Miscanthus. There are however, various problems associated with growing reed canary grass:
- It is susceptible to various pests.
- It is prone to lodging.
- It does not fully senesce in winter, making harvest difficult.
- It requires too much Nitrogen for the yield achieved.
This crop is not eligible for an establishment grant because it is very economical to plant and therefore doesn’t justify support.