Performance of Brush Cutters in Felling Operations of Willow Short Rotation Coppice

Nicolae Talagai, Stelian Alexandru Borz, Gheorghe Ignea

Abstract


Short rotation coppice is an option for timely procuring biomass for use as a source of energy, but it often requires the use of expensive equipment. Small-scale farmers lack the ability to purchase such equipment, but rather can use their own affordable tools. Performance of motor-manual harvesting using brush cutters in a short rotation willow coppice was evaluated by coupling traditional, Global Positioning System (GPS), and Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and methods. Strong dependence relations were found between the time effectively spent to fell willow shoots and the row length. The delay-free time consumption accounted for 81% of the total observed time, while the time spent to fell the shoots accounted for 97% of the delay-free time. The net production rate was low (0.13 ha h-1) being related to the technology used. Delays (19%) affected the performance resulting in a gross production rate of 0.11 ha h-1. Nevertheless, small-scale farmers use this level of technology in harvesting their crops by adapting the crop rotation to very short cycles, possibly to cope with technical limitations of brush cutters. The plantation system, layout, and the weather conditions may act as performance-limiting drivers. Also, adequate planning of the operational layout has the potential to increase the field performance.

Keywords


Motor-manual felling; Willow coppice; Performance; Energy procurement; Small-scale

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126