Comparison of two harvesting methods and energetic characterization of residual stumps
Gallucci, F.; Pari, L.; Scarfone, A.; Barontini, M.
Sixth edition of the International Conference on Agricultural Development and Sustainability, Agrocentro 2014, 9 - 11 April 2014 VI Symposium of Agriculture Engineering
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Raciel Lima Orozco
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Generally, the stumps removal from an end-of-life orchard is a time consuming work that requires high management costs. Despite these problems, the operation is necessary for restoring suitable soil conditions for arboreal or herbaceous crops.
Stumps can be removed from the soil using different methods, i.e. they can be crushed on-site through the infield comminution using tractor mounted drills or extracted with excavators or rotor stumps extractors.
This study consists of two independent parts: the first part is focused on the comparison of the work performed by a stump puller prototype and a traditional excavator. Both machines were used for a stump harvesting test carried out in a pear orchard of Northern Italy. The second part of the study deals with the energetic characterization of the extracted roots. Considering the bio-energy potential of agricultural residues, the goal of the work is to show the performance of an innovative mechanization system for raw material supply, but at the same time it is intended to show the stump energy potential in the agro-energy chain.
The energetic characterization revealed the presence in the biomass of high ash content, while the other parameters resulted in line with those of typical energetic broadleaves.
The use of the prototype stump-puller resulted more efficient than the traditional stump removal, furnishing a fuel of higher quality due to lower soil contamination. However, the necessity of a outdoor stumps storage must be stressed because immediately after extraction the wood has too much soil and moisture for efficient conversion.