Bamboo Farming USA

Data from 2011-2014 






The closest weather station is in Fort Valley. March had a touch of rain every day for a total for the month of 4.2 inches. On the 9th 1.11 inches fell. On the 3oth 1.58 inches fell. April had only 1.34 inches for the entire month. 1.2 inches fell on april 5. As of May 8th, no rain has fallen in May. I believe that for bamboo to produce well, it needs at least an inch of rain each week while shooting and while generating new rhizomes in summer. The rainfall pattern of little rain in April and May implies that late shooters will produce less than early shooters. Praecox the best producer is the earliest. However the worst producer moso is also early. Rain is one of several factors.

Analysis of Yield

Only three of the bamboos yielded more than a half a ton of shoots per acre. The most well respected bamboos, moso, bambusoides and henon yielded two hundred to 500 pounds per acre speaking broadly. Why so low?

Georgia Bamboo is a wholesale nursery. The bamboos in demand are moso, bambusoides, and henon. These plots tend to be dug for nursery stock or harvested for poles. For the next four years, the projected duration of my research with Georgia Bamboo the 1000 square foot plots will be managed to maximize shoot production. I expect for the low producing varieties to produce well next year. 

Phyllostachys praecox is a rare bamboo that produces very early. There has been no demand for this bamboo so it has quietly grown on without poles being harvested or nursery stock being dug. As a choice for a farm crop its productivity is higher than the others and its early shooting should prove an advantage to bringing early and good prices. 
Phllostachys viridis Houzeau is a green bamboo with a yellow stripe. It is not as popular as  P viridis Robert Young which is yellow with random green stripes. It has curving poles. Therefore it has not been dug for nursery stock and has not been cut for poles. Like the  praecox the grove was left alone. 
Vivax aureocaulis  has been dug somewhat but is not a popular bamboo. Plus  vivax  is a vigorous plant and can withstand digging better than some other bamboos. Its poles are weak and not desirable. 

Moso is famous for being a very productive bamboo and yet here it is the worst producer of all. I have heard figures of moso yielding many tons, even 10 tons an ace in Japan with massive care and knowledge and plenty of rain during shooting. As best I can tell, it did not produce in Bonaire, Georgia, because I did not thin any poles. Poles had been heavily thinned the year before and many of the poles in the grove were new. 
The Robert Young in Bonaire has been dug for nursery stock. When I thinned it in winter of 2010, many tops were dying back. Removing the dying and leaning canes left the grove too open to the sun. The Bonaire henon had an extremely large number of dead and leaning poles. By the time I cleaned them out, the grove was too open. Big Bamboo told me they had taken out a lot of poles. They take the biggest and best. 

Next year I intend for the groves to produce better than 2011. 



Comparing the Research groves in Puyallup Washington State with Georgia

These three varieties of bamboo are planted both at Washington State University in Puyallup and at Georgia Bamboo in Bonaire and Fort Valley. Clearly the GA bamboos need care and management to increase their yield. Irrigation will be a big factor. In the month of April and the first ten days of May, only 1.34 inches of rain fell. We should have had at least an inch a week for a total of 6 inches.