A New Cash Crop

Harvesting SRC willow for green energy is the newest sustainability idea from Richard Carmichael, 30th chief and 26th baron of the ancient Clan Carmichael from Clydesdale, Scotland.

“Sustainability is not just doing what you always did,” says Chief Richard Carmichael. “Just a few years ago we began a new tradition, planting 102 of our 800 hectares with willow. As the 32nd generation, we wanted something new and renewable for our estate.”

“Our recent successful willow harvest by the Iggesund team proves we have a new cash crop.

Our hilly, wet, less attractive land now has a profitable purpose. Growing SRC Willow also compliments our deer farming, cottage rentals, a country store and the annual Clan Carmichael event, which attracts extended family from around the world. SRC Willow is here to stay, because a new revenue source is always welcome. Harsh terrain conditions make many good ideas fall short.”

Quips Chief Richard, “A willow stag sculpture at the entrance to our estate would be a welcome addition.”

The breeding of SRC willow planted on the Carmichael estate has have been developed to produce high yielding, varieties with a growth habit that facilitates mechanical harvesting.

Willow is a unique odd crop that only needs to be planted once, it then grows abundantly from just putting cuttings in the ground. It is then harvested every three years, re-growing between each harvest. Looking to the next generations at the Carmichael estate, willow power is another step in their long journey of sustainability—past, present and future.

Chief Carmichael’s integrated property consists of barley, meats, rental cottages, a country store, social and orienteering events–and now, willow for energy.

102Ha SRC Willow harvested by Iggesund for Carmichael Estate