The final yield from the cultivation of Miscanthus is between 14 and 20 tonnes per hectare annually. These differences in yield per hectare are caused by plant density, emergence percentage, soil type and climate. The highest yield can be achieved in lower-lying soils with a good water retention capacity. This is due to the fact that the elephant grass is a C4 crop: high water availability (water retention capacity and high average rainfall) with high average temperatures have a beneficial effect on the growth of the crop!
In the build-up phase the yield increases to eventually stabilize 4 – 5 years after planting. The growth of the crop in the first year after planting results in a yield of about 1 – 2 tons per hectare, which is not worth harvesting. It is not necessary to harvest the stems, they may remain on the field until the next harvest season. Although it is possible to opt for the chopped Miscanthus on the field as organic weed suppressant. From the 2nd year after planting, the elephant grass can be harvested annually. The tonnage in the 2nd year after planting is between 6 – 10 tons per hectare. In the 3rd year the yield per hectare is about 12-16 tons. Whereas in the 4th year after planting this becomes 14 – 18 tons and in the 5th year after planting 14 – 20 tons per hectare.
There are European Miscanthus giganteus fields of more than 20 years old which still realize stable tonnages.