Check your sound levels before playing this video – willow harvesting is LOUD!
Energy Crops must be strategically harvested to maximise yield and income
Harvesting a Perennial Energy Crop is a precise procedure which we can guide you through step by step. It is important to get your harvest right the first time, in order for a high yield and successful crop in the next 2-4 year cycle over the period of 30+ years.
We have extensive experience in helping growers decide when the time is right to harvest their crop. There are many variables at stake in making the decision:
- Each type of Energy Crop has its own calendar for optimum harvesting
- Stem thickness (affects yield and speed of harvesting)
- Plantation density
- Condition of ground
- Availability of machinery
- Risk Assessment
- Time of year
Unlike food crops, the seasonal window for harvesting is much wider, allowing considerable flexibility for the grower. This means that your energy crop harvest needn’t conflict with your arable harvest, for example. The window is from leaf fall to first buds, so approximately November to March.
The harvest cutting must be done with great care and precision. The cutter blades must be sharp and low to the ground. The cut stumps are where the next year’s new stems will grow from, so the cut must be clean. The height of the cut is important as cutting too high means the stem is thinner, so there’ll be less stems growing for the next year’s harvest.
We can provide either complete harvest management from procuring machinery and staff, or we can manage your own team – our goal is the same as yours: maximum yield from every planted hectare of your land.
Harvesting of SRC Willow wood crops:
The harvest cutting must be done with great care and precision. The cutter blades must be sharp and low to the ground. The cut stumps are where the next year’s new stems will grow from, so the cut must be clean. Height of the cut is equally as important as cutting too high means the stem is thinner, so there’ll be less stems growing for the next harvest.
SRC Willow stems can be cut and chipped, or cut and baled, depending on the end market. We can advise on this too.
Willow is a particularly beneficial crop when it comes to land that is at risk of flooding. Willow wood crop even its first year can in fact lessen flood damage and reduce soil erosion – and if there is a flood one year, the crop can even be left until the next harvest window.
Harvesting of Miscanthus:
Miscanthus Crop is cut with a self-propelled forage harvester and left in the swath from 1-6 weeks until it is dry and then baled ready for end markets.
This is a forage harvester with machinery fitted for SRC Willow harvesting