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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324615

Title: Biomass bale stack and field outlet locations assessment for efficient infield logistics

item CANNAYEN, IGATHINATHANE - North Dakota State University
item TUMULURU, JAYA - Idaho National Laboratory
item KESHWANI, DEEPAK - University Of Nebraska
item Schmer, Marty
item Archer, David
item Liebig, Mark
item Halvorson, Jonathan
item Hendrickson, John
item Kronberg, Scott

Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2016
Publication Date: 5/26/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Cannayen, I., Tumuluru, J.S., Keshwani, D., Schmer, M.R., Archer, D.W., Liebig, M.A., Halvorson, J.J., Hendrickson, J.R., Kronberg, S.L. 2016. Biomass bale stack and field outlet locations assessment for efficient infield logistics. Biomass and Bioenergy. 91:217-226.

Interpretive Summary: Hay or biomass is typically baled for handling and transport. To reduce time spent handling and transporting bales, and to reduce interference with other field activities, producer often group bales into stacks in the field before hauling multiple bales to an outlet point for transport off-site. This research used computer simulation to calculate effect of stack size and location, bale-hauling equipment size, and field characteristics on transportation distances. Results showed that transportation distances could be substantially reduced by increasing the number of stacks in the field and the number of bales transported per trip. Results also showed that grouping bales near the center of each subfield, and locating the field outlet near the center of the field or centered on a field edge would reduce transportation distances. This research is useful to hay and biomass producers in improving bale handling methods to increase efficiency and reduce bale handling time and expenses.

Technical Abstract: Harvested hay or biomass are traditionally baled for better handling and they are transported to the outlet for final utilization. For better management of bale logistics, producers often aggregate bales into stacks so that bale-hauling equipment can haul multiple bales for improved efficiency. Objectives of this research include simulation of bale collection logistics after forming subfield stacks, evaluation of location effects of bale stack and field outlet, the number of stacks, transported bales/trip, and other field parameters on logistics distances (aggregation, transportation, and total). The software ‘R’ performed the simulation, statistical analysis, and data visualization. Formation of bale stacks decoupled aggregation and transportation components. Stacks formation thus allows for aggregation and transportation to be performed at different times. Increasing the number of subfield stacks and the number of transported bales/trip significantly reduced the total logistics distances. The order for the best bale stack and outlet locations was: middle, near middle, mid-edge along the length, mid-edge along the width, and finally, corners. Except for swath and windrow variation, the studied field variables had a highly significant influence on the logistics distances. Increased bales/trip (6) reduced the variations of outlet locations. Locating the field outlet at or near the center of the field along with an appropriate number of square subfields with stacks at the middle, and increased bales/trip will be the most efficient infield logistics strategy.