SRC harvesting is a precise process requiring highly skilled operatives, specialist machinery and excellent, safe, site management. We can supply all three!

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. You can rely on Energy Crops Consultancy to harvest your crop in a precise and professional manner, enhancing the longevity of your plantation and quality of your finished biomass product.

We can provide either complete harvest management from providing machinery and staff, or we can manage your own team. Either way, our goal is the same as yours: maximum yield from every planted hectare of your land.

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 some other crops, the seasonal window for energy crop 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.

Every harvest must leave a good legacy for the best potential in following years. We pride ourselves on the quality and precision of our harvesting as well as the care we show to your fields and margins, all in order to produce the highest yields possible for the lifetime of your plantation.

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.

After every pass of the forager, our staff carefully scrutinise each row, picking up any fallen stems and replacing them into the coppices, so that they’re chipped on the next pass.

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 can in fact lessen flood damage even in its first year and reduce soil erosion – if there is a flood one year, the crop can even be left until the next harvest window.

ECC work very hard to keep the wood chip clean and free from contamination. Ideally we load the fresh chip onto a clean concrete stand, but if this is not available we will always lay taram sheeting down under the chip pile as a minimum. It’s vital to stop any contamination of the wood chip or miscanthus bales and ECC prides itself on good quality, clean, virgin wood chip for our end markets customers. Sand and soil are the biomass boilers worst enemies!

It’s important to note that perennial energy crops don’t necessarily require a complete harvest every time – for example, with careful management, it’s possible to maximise the biodiversity of your energy crop by planting and harvesting your land in annual stages so that there’s always a good cover of mature crop at any point in the year. This means that wildlife has somewhere to go whilst harvesting takes place.

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

This is our brand new New Holland Forage Harvester on its rollout from Lloyd Ltd

SRC Willow and SRF Poplar is typically harvested by a Forage Harvester, directly feeding woodchip into a following trailer.

The business end of a Forage Harvester

The way a harvest should look – clean and neat!

Coppicing works best when the root stock or stool is cleanly cut like this

Harvesting continues into darkness – we don’t stop just because the sun’s gone down!

Night time harvesting drone footage by Andy Oldridge

Harvesting is sometimes a multi-day operation – this is day two of a very large SRC plantation harvest.

handful of woodchip biomass cut by energy crops consultancy

This is clean, uniform size G30 willow woodchip, dried and ready for use.

SRC harvesting is a precise process requiring highly skilled operatives, specialist machinery and excellent, safe, site management. We can supply all three!

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 can provide either complete harvest management from providing machinery and staff, or we can manage your own team. Either way, our goal is the same as yours: maximum yield from every planted hectare of your land.

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.

Every harvest must leave a good legacy for the best potential in following years. We pride ourselves on the quality and precision of our harvesting as well as the care we show to your fields and margins, all in order to produce the highest yields possible for the lifetime of your plantation.

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.

After every pass of the forager, our staff carefully scrutinise each row, picking up any fallen stems and replacing them into the coppices, so that they’re chipped on the next pass.

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 can in fact lessen flood damage even in its first year and reduce soil erosion – if there is a flood one year, the crop can even be left until the next harvest window.

It’s important to note that perennial energy crops don’t necessarily require a complete harvest every time – for example, with careful management, it’s possible to maximise the biodiversity of your energy crop by planting and harvesting your land in annual stages so that there’s always a good cover of mature crop at any point in the year. This means that wildlife has somewhere to go whilst harvesting takes place.

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 our brand new New Holland Forage Harvester on its rollout from Lloyd Ltd

SRC Willow and SRF Poplar is typically harvested by a Forage Harvester, directly feeding woodchip into a following trailer.

This is a forage harvester with machinery fitted for SRC Willow harvesting

SRC harvesting is a precise process requiring highly skilled operatives and specialist machinery. We can supply both!

The business end of a Forage Harvester

The way a harvest should look – clean and neat!

Coppicing works best when the root stock or stool is cleanly cut like this

Harvesting continues into darkness – we don’t stop just because the sun’s gone down!

Harvesting is sometimes a multi-day operation – this is day two of a very large SRC plantation harvest.

handful of woodchip biomass cut by energy crops consultancy

This is clean, uniform size G30 willow woodchip, dried and ready for use.