The yield losses during oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) harvesting at on-farm scale in the Italian area
Pari, L.; Assirelli, A.; Suardi, A.; Santangelo, E.
21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 3-7 June 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Via Giacomini 28, I - 50132 Florence
ETA-Florence Renewable Energies
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Although Italy has a favorable climate for the rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) cultivation, its widespread is restrained by the significant seed losses that, due to its peculiar ripening physiology, are caused by the mechanical harvesting and meteorological events. Lacking the availability of works investigating the actual losses during the harvest at large scale, the Consiglio per la sperimentazione e la ricerca in agricoltura, Unità di ricerca per l’ingegneria agraria (CRA-ING) has conducted a study in order to determine the effective seed losses at farm scale. Two combine headers, traditional for wheat and specific for oilseed rape harvest, were compared for the seed losses. These were evaluated before and during the harvesting by using plastic trays placed on the ground between the crop rows and arranged in a layout allowing to estimate the losses of different sectors of the heads. At farm level, the use of a specific oilseed rape head adapted and optimized for the crop requirements allows to obtain a general reduction of the seed losses, below the ranges reported in literature. For rapeseed head, the higher losses are localized, at the final parts of the head, where the plants are strictly tangled.