Mechanization of rhizome production in nurseries of giant reed (Arundo donax L.)
Pari. L.; Assirelli, A.; Acampora, A.; Santangelo, E.
20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 18-22 June 2012, Milan, Italy.
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Via Giacomini 28, I - 50132 Florence
ETA-Florence Renewable Energies
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Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a perennial rhizomatous grass currently considered as an alternative crop for the production of bioenergy. However, cultivation of Arundo needs the improvement of agamic propagation, because the use of stem cuttings or rhizomes equires a demanding and labor-intensive manual effort, thus resulting monetarily expensive. Objective of the study was to verify the applicability of mechanical sectioning of rhizomes directly in field using a rotary tiller on which the hoes shape was modified. Three different machine settings were tested aimed at the obtaining rhizomes with a length variable between 4.4 and 6.4 cm. The analysis of size distribution of harvested rhizomes (<5 cm, 5-10 cm, >10 cm) has showed as the modification of the hoes and the right machine setting would allow the recovery of almost 90% of rhizomes longer than 5 cm. Rhizomes with different lengths were tested for their rate of survival and shoots production showing worthy results on view of applicability of the system for mechanization of nursery production of giant reed.