Bamboo Farming USA

Yield Data

Robby Russell of Georgia Bamboo owns my research plot in Bonaire, Georgia. It is 1000 square feet. It measures 32 foot by 32 foot. The overall grove in which it sits is approximately 100 foot by 100 foot. The grove mixes with henon on one side and bambusoides on the other side. It is not acres in size at all.

This graph shows moso's variability of yield. It bears well in alternate years. My thinking about this variability evolves. In 2010 when I began clearing weeds from the grove, I did not thin the grove by cutting poles. There was already plenty of space between poles.
The yield of moso bamboo shoots in 2011 disappointed me! It was lower than any one of my other 9 plots. I decided that the grove needed stimulation. In March I spread a 40 pound bag of Black Gold Compost. In July I sprayed compost tea. In September I decided that the moso needed the stimulation of having poles removed. Robby and I agreed on 13 poles that should be cut.
The yield in 2012 was 7.8 times larger than 2011. Moso went from being the least productive of 9 groves to the most productive. I thought that my compost, manure tea and thinning of standing culms were the reason. Maybe not. Maybe it a result of moso yielding in an alternate year pattern..
In 2012 I fertilized in January with 10-10-1- Super Rainbow which included trace elements. In March I put down chicken manure composted with cotton residue. In April I added a pile of bamboo leaves that fell off of stacked poles. In July I removed 5 culms and spread 5 bales of straw.
In 2013 the yield of moso shoots was once again disappointing, but about a third larger than in 2010. In 2013 every research plot had significantly reduced yields. I every plot yield in 2013 was significant less than in 2010 and 2011. The exception was Robert Young in Fort Valley whose yield was double the previous years. Spring was cold and shooting was late. Late shooting means less shooting.
In February, 2013, I thinned out 4 poles. In April I spread fresh llama poop and straw. In May, I finished spreading straw.
In 2014 the moso produced almost two tons per acre. This was 12 times the yield the previous year.
My field notes show that I did not mulch or fertilize in 2014. After such a great yield of shoots, not fertilizing was a mistake.
In 2015 moso yielded no shoots. I cut 2 poles. No fertilizing, no mulching.
In 2016 moso yielded about 1200 pounds of shoots. Presumably it would have been more with fertilizing and mulching.
Conclusion Moso appears to bear in alternate years. Fertilizing and mulching combined with modest thinning of poles appears to increase shoot yield.