Intermediate energy crops are planted between two main crops.
They allow farmers producing biomethane to secure their supplies of methanisation inputs without replacing their food crops with dedicated energy crops. There are numerous types of intermediate energy crops: hay, phacelia, ray grass, field pea, maize, rye, clover, mustard, vetch etc. They have high methane production potential, varying according to the crop chosen.
Energy crops have a number of additional benefits for the soil1 because they help:
limit the leaching of nitrates,
structure the soil,
control self-propagating plants (weeds) by competing for resources,
control certain diseases in the main crop, if the combination of the two crops is favourable,
protect bee populations if nectar-producing plants are chosen.