The biobaler is an alternative to the modified self-propelled forage harvester to cut and collect short rotation woody crops (SRWC). It is less capital intensive and more versatile, being able to harvest woody crops on plantations, on abandoned farmland, on brush land or within forest understory. The biobaler was evaluated specifically on five different plantations over 19 experimental units (546 bales harvested with an average mass of 427 kg and 49% moisture content). Average bale density was 266 kg wet mass (WM)/m3 or 139 kg dry mass (DM)/m3. Average harvest capacity was 35 bales/h (7.7 t dry matter/h), and ranged from 23 to 48 bales/h. Harvest in plantations with a 149 kW tractor cost on average CAN $175/h, $5/bale and $22.84/t DM. Non recovered biomass (field loss) averaged 11% at random locations in the field and 8% at the point of bale ejection as a result of chip abrasion. While the biobaler remains a versatile harvester for SRWC, its preferred utilization will be in environments of diverse woody crops with final application as a rough mulch or for combustion in furnaces requiring minimal processing or size reduction.
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