Lewis Bamboo providing bamboo plants and poles for sale.

Bamboo Farming

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Moso bamboo plants for farming

Bamboo has a variety of applications. It is a woody plant that can replenish itself quickly. Primary bamboo products are timber substitutes (e.g. bamboo flooring, paper, and furniture), cotton substitutes (e.g. clothing, sheets) and food (bamboo shoots). Some additional uses are activated carbon, fodder, charcoal, bio-energy, reinforcement in structures, medicine, etc. It is also desirable in its natural state for privacy plants or harvested poles. Bamboo also provides a higher rate of exchange of carbon dioxide than trees. Asian nations have used bamboo in its culture for years instead of trees.

However, many Western cultures are not set up to manufacture bamboo like the Eastern cultures. This should be a changing trend over the next decade as the world shifts toward a green approach concerning products it consumes. Investment in bamboo may take a while but, it is worth the time and effort to help establish quickly renewable resources that also help benefit the environment with better carbon exchange. Moso bamboo

We offer consultation and establishment services. There are some key points that need to be considered prior.

Location

The margin between climate zone 7 and 8 have the best yields for temperate bamboo production. There are species that can produce at a viable rate in climate zone 6b and warmer. Bamboo can be grown in colder climates but the diminished growing season makes it undesirable for large scale production into bamboo markets.

Quick Cost Overview

Bamboo has a high initial investment but doesn’t need to ever be replanted, at least not in our generation. Plant cost for 2/3 gallon size plants are $19 if 10,000+ are order. Typical planting are 14’ center which means that 222 plants are need per acre. Plant material typically cost around $4900 per acre. Planting cost depends on site and level of require prep to insure successful establishment. These cost range from $1.50-$5.00 per plant. Size plantings can be adjusted to meet different budget, sizes, and time requirements. You could start with as little as 1 acre and source the rest of the farm from this acre. This will greatly extend your time to market but accommodates less capital expenditure upfront. To be commercially viable, I would recommend an eventual plantation of 10 acres or more. This justifies moving cutting equipment to site when it is time to harvest.


Bamboo Farming Profit

We recommend a variety of species for different applicable markets specific to your goals. This also limits your liability to species flowering. Phyllostachys Edulis (Moso) and the Phyllostachys Bambusoides Madake (there are 14 subspecies) are recommended to capitalize on the emerging domestic laminated bamboo (flooring, dimensional, veneers, load bearing, OSB, fiber board) markets. There are many other species like Phyllostachys Rubromarginata and Phyllostachys Bissetii that present higher yields (oven dried tons per hectare and more GJ/t) to use for paper, biomass and fiber markets. Speed to maturity has many variables depending on species, climate zone, soil, sunlight, management practices, etc. Most returns will start being actualized in the 5-10 year range depending on species and market. Target markets will dedicate price but I would estimate a mature cane would be worth a min of $1 (We are currently yielding $100+ worth of material from a mature Moso pole). So 43,560 (sqft per acre) / 3 (estimated cane population) x 25% (harvest rate) x $1 (price per cane) = $3630 per acre per year based on these assumptions.

Bamboo groves with proper care should be able to maintain this production level for around 75 years. We offer full services to assist in this endeavor. We develop individualized plans to include site evaluation, species recommendations & sourcing, best growing practices, harvesting, and market development & placing. If we can set up a consultation for you, please let us know.

Members of:
ABSANLA 
Lewis Bamboo, Inc.
121 Creekview Road
Oakman, AL 35579

1-877-RZN-CANE
Office: 205-292-0536
E-mail:
roger@lewisbamboo.com
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