Year 2019, Volume 4, Issue 1

Year : 2019
Volume : 4
Issue : 1
Authors : Roberto TOMASONE, Carla CEDROLA, Mauro PAGANO, Andrea ACAMPORA, Enrico SANTANGELO
Abstract : In Italy, Dryocosmus kuriphilus is a major insect pest of chestnut orchards causing gall formation and significant yield losses. The use of the parasitoid wasp Torymus sinensis is an effective biological control method that requires the appropriate management of the pruning residues, to preserve the woody galls in which T. sinensis adults overwinter. An innovative tractor-pulled combined mechanical shredder was tested for treating the residues, once the pruning operations are completed. The machine processes the residues in a single-step, picking-up the prunings from the orchard floor, shredding them to appropriate size, and collecting them into a rear container. The shredded residues may then be concentrated into a few piles for the long-term field storage, until next spring. The aim of the study was to evaluate the machinery’s operative performance, the quality of the shredded biomass and the impact on gall integrity. In the field trials, the machinery effectively shredded the residues achieving an average operative capacity of 1.19 ha∙h-1 and a work capacity of 1.79 t∙h-1. Moisture content, apparent bulk density, and particle size distribution of the shredded biomass were determined. Over 95% of wood chips were included in the 3.15-45 mm size range, making them suitable for use in residential biomass furnaces. The calorific power of the chestnut residues was similar to that reported for other hardwood species (18-20 MJ∙kg-1). Also, the mechanical action of the shredder preserved at least two thirds of the winter galls, safeguarding the parasitoid’s life cycle.
For citation : Tomasone, R., Cedrola, C., Pagano, M., Acampora, A., Santangelo, E. (2019). Mechanized management of pruning residues in sweet chestnut orchards. AGROFOR International Journal, Volume 4. Issue No. 1. pp. 65-72. DOI: 10.7251/AGRENG1901065T
Keywords : Gall wasp, Castanea sativa, mechanical harvesting, biomass quality, gall integrity
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