Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2006
Publication Date: 7/9/2006
Citation: Shinners, K.J., Boettcher, G.C., Munk, J.C., Digman, M.F., Muck, R.E., Weimer, P.J. 2006. Single-pass, split-stream of corn grain and stover: characteristic performance of three harvester configurations. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International. Paper No. 061015. p. 1-19. Interpretive Summary: Improved harvesting methods for corn stover are needed if this biomass material is to be used for large scale conversion to biofuels. Several corn harvesting units were tested on a grain combine to collect and separate streams of grain and stover in a single pass through the field. A whole plant harvester captured considerably more of the stover than did the stalk-gathering harvester and much more than the ear-snapper harvester, but the greater recovery reduced the ground speed of the harvester and produced a harvested stover of lower density. Stover collected by all single-pass harvesters showed good preservation in bag silos over an 8 month storage period. These results will aid engineers in designing improved machinery and methods for harvesting corn stover.
Technical Abstract: A grain combine was modified to produce single-pass, whole-plant corn harvesting with two crop streams, grain and stover. Three corn heads were used: ear-snapper, stalk-gathering and whole plant. Capture of potential stover dry matter (DM) was 30, 67, and 90% of DM for a combine harvester configured with an ear-snapper, stalk-gathering or whole plant heads, respectively. Stover aggregate moisture was 51.0 and 52.5% (weight basis, w.b.) for the whole-plant and stalk-gathering heads (front wagon only), respectively. Aggegate moisture of stover from the ear-snapper and stalk-gathering heads (rear-wagon only), was 38.5% (w.b.). When the stalk-gathering or whole-plant heads were used, greater stover feedrate limited ground speed, so area capacity was 3.4, 2.2, and 2.0 ha/h for the ear-snapper, stalk-gathering and whole plant heads, respectively. Wet and dry bulk density was 163 and 100; 147 and 70; and 80 and 38 kg/m3 for the ear-snapper, stalk-gathering and whole plant heads, respectively. Fermentation of single-pass stover in a bag silo was very good, with DM losses after eight months of storage of 4.1 and 6.7% for the material harvested with the whole-plant and stalk-gathering heads, respectively.