|Abstract in English:|
Five years old poplar (Populus spp.) plantation represents an interesting model of productivity. The most attractive characteristics of this energy crop are the handling flexibility, the high yield of biomass per
area unit and the good quality of the chips obtainable. The mechanical harvesting of five-years old poplar plantations requires the use of specialized forest machineries such as harvester, feller, forwarder and chipper. Usually, after felling, the working phases consist of extraction, stacking and chipping. Generally, the last one is carried out in a “static phase”, where the product is taken from staked
logs by using a hydraulic arm having a gripper that feed the chipping machine. In order to introduce technological innovations for the medium rotation forestry harvesting, the Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Unità di ricerca per l’Ingegneria agraria (CRAING) of Monterotondo (Rome, Italy) has developed a five years poplar cutwindrower and a self-propelled chipper equipped with a pick up system. The prototype of cut-windrower is a semi-trailed machine powered by a 95 kW tractor (at least). It mounts a cutting system and a double pincer with variable positioning. During the cutting phase the plant is grasped by the double pincer which conveys and unloads the stem along the inter-row. The trees are placed parallel to the progress of the tractor, but oriented in the opposite direction.
The biomass windrowed is then chipped in a dynamic phase directly from the inter row using the self-propelled chipper equipped with the pick-up head. In the first tests, the cut-windrower has reached an operative working capacity of 0.22 ha h-1, with an operative production of 44 t h-1. On the other hand, the self-propelled chipper has showed an operative working capacity equal to 0.18 ha h-1, and an operative production of 35 t h-1 about.