Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) harvesting system, an economic and technical evaluation


The giant reed is a herbaceous energy crop that demonstrates a good adaptability for areas of central-northern Italy. However, its size and stem resistance to cutting pose problems for harvesting in relation both to the availability of suitable machinery and costs of the operation. A technical and economic evaluation has been conducted of a harvesting system based on an experimental machine, the biotriturator, developed by University of Bologna in collaboration with the Nobili Company (Bologna, Italy) and adapted to field operating conditions. The harvesting system consists of cutting-shredding and baling in a single pass. The system was evaluated by performing a winter harvest when the crop was in quiescence and had a low moisture content. The total harvesting costs were evaluated as 11.6 € Mg-1 dry biomass. Given that the estimated area that can be covered by the harvesting system was 123 hectares per year the system represents an effective solution for not very large areas and is therefore suitable for the Italian environment where average farm sizes are slightly over seven hectares (ISTAT, 2011).


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cost analysis, giant reed (Arundo donax), harvesting system, herbaceous energy crops.
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How to Cite
Bentini, M., & Martelli, R. (2013). Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) harvesting system, an economic and technical evaluation. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(2s).