Cut-to-Length Harvesting Options for the Integrated Harvesting of the European Industrial Poplar Plantations

Spinelli, Raffaele and Magagnotti, Natascia and De Francesco, Fabio and Kováč, Barnabáš and Heger, Patrik and Heilig, Dávid and Heil, Bálint and Kovács, Gábor (2022) Cut-to-Length Harvesting Options for the Integrated Harvesting of the European Industrial Poplar Plantations. FORESTS, 13 (9). ISSN 1999-4907

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Plantation forestry has a long history in Europe and still supports local industry, generating employment, improving environmental quality, and mitigating climate change. As part of these plantations, medium-rotation poplars (5–8 years) provide good quality logs for fiber production, and the branches and tops can be converted into green energy. Finding a cost-effective harvesting system for this plantation is challenging due to the small tree size and the need for log production, which prevents whole-tree chipping. To verify the economic benefit of using small mechanized cut-to-length (CTL) technology, four different CTL chains were tested in western Slovakia. All chains tested consisted of a harvester and a forwarder. Each machine had a skilled operator and was timed while cutting and processing (or forwarding) eight experimental sample plots. Sample plots were randomly assigned to each treatment, and each one covered an area between 0.08 and 0.10 ha (120–170 trees). Harvester productivity ranged from 2.2 to 4.2 bone-dry tons per scheduled machine hour (BDT SMH−1), and harvester cost from EUR 11 to EUR 22 BDT−1. Forwarding productivity and cost ranged from EUR 2.0 to 4.5 BDT SMH−1 and from EUR 9 to 20 BDT−1. Total harvesting costs ranged between EUR 26 and 36 BDT−1. Choosing a smaller harvester is preferable due to the small tree size, which caps productivity regardless of a machine’s intrinsic potential. Furthermore, small harvesters and forwarders are lighter on the ground, which can be a valuable asset on the many wet sites planted with poplar.

Tudományterület / tudományág

agricultural sciences > forestry and wildlife management


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Soproni Egyetem

Item Type: Article
SWORD Depositor: Teszt Sword
Depositing User: Csaba Horváth
Identification Number: MTMT:33129436
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2022 08:20
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2022 08:20

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