Modern bioenergy crops have potential to play a crucial role in the global energy mix, especially under policiesto reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The management of short-rotation willow crops involves several operations that deliverbiomass for different uses. In commercial-scale operations, high-performance, mostly automated equipment is frequentlyused; however, in small-scale operations, smallholder farmers adapt traditional agricultural equipment to fit their needs.This study evaluated the field performance of planting and cutback operations in small-scale willow crops using equipmentthat was characterized by a low level of technological integration. Following the implementation of both operations, theplanting work rates ranged from 0.216 to 0.300 ha h-1, depending on the soil preparation and planting density. Delayssignificantly reduced the field performance, resulting in gross work rates of 0.149 to 0.230 ha h-1. By comparison, cutbackoperations had higher work rates of 2.31 and 2.35 ha h-1 for gross and net production, respectively. These rates dropped toapproximately 1.77 and 2.00 ha h-1, respectively, due to time spent in headland turns and other delays. Possibilities toimprove the field performance depend on good preparation of the soil prior to planting, which includes removal of agriculturalresidue. In the case of cutback operations, avoiding backward movement of the equipment when additional headlandspace is available and an improved field layout may shorten the time spent in headland turns. The results indicate thatsmall-scale energy crop plantations can be sustainable in terms of efficiency when unspecialized technologies are used.Therefore, small-scale agriculture can make a positive contribution to climate change mitigation targets.

Performance of small-scale technology in planting and cutback operations of willow short rotation crops

PROTO, Andrea Rosario
Writing – Review & Editing
2019

Abstract

Modern bioenergy crops have potential to play a crucial role in the global energy mix, especially under policiesto reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The management of short-rotation willow crops involves several operations that deliverbiomass for different uses. In commercial-scale operations, high-performance, mostly automated equipment is frequentlyused; however, in small-scale operations, smallholder farmers adapt traditional agricultural equipment to fit their needs.This study evaluated the field performance of planting and cutback operations in small-scale willow crops using equipmentthat was characterized by a low level of technological integration. Following the implementation of both operations, theplanting work rates ranged from 0.216 to 0.300 ha h-1, depending on the soil preparation and planting density. Delayssignificantly reduced the field performance, resulting in gross work rates of 0.149 to 0.230 ha h-1. By comparison, cutbackoperations had higher work rates of 2.31 and 2.35 ha h-1 for gross and net production, respectively. These rates dropped toapproximately 1.77 and 2.00 ha h-1, respectively, due to time spent in headland turns and other delays. Possibilities toimprove the field performance depend on good preparation of the soil prior to planting, which includes removal of agriculturalresidue. In the case of cutback operations, avoiding backward movement of the equipment when additional headlandspace is available and an improved field layout may shorten the time spent in headland turns. The results indicate thatsmall-scale energy crop plantations can be sustainable in terms of efficiency when unspecialized technologies are used.Therefore, small-scale agriculture can make a positive contribution to climate change mitigation targets.
Bioenergy; Mechanization; Biomass; Cutting; SRC; Short-rotation coppice
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/3236
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