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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371412

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Title: Energy consumption of tractors and automatic bale pickers for biomass bales infield aggregation

item SUBHASHREE, SRINIVASAGAN - North Dakota State University
item IGATHINATHANE, C. - North Dakota State University
item Liebig, Mark
item Halvorson, Jonathan
item Archer, David
item Hendrickson, John
item Kronberg, Scott

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2020
Publication Date: 7/12/2020
Citation: Subhashree, S.N., Igathinathane, C., Liebig, M.A., Halvorson, J.J., Archer, D.W., Hendrickson, J.R., Kronberg, S.L. 2020. Energy consumption of tractors and automatic bale pickers for biomass bales infield aggregation. Meeting Abstract. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Infield bale aggregation is essential for clearing field, preserve hay quality, and for preparing the field for subsequent crops. For infield bale aggregation, tractors are most common and simplest, but with limited bales/trip (BPT), while the modern approach is to use an automatic bale picker (ABP) capable of picking, accumulation, and transportation of the bales. However, the energy involved in the bale aggregation was complex, as load carried will vary with the number of bales picked along the aggregation path, and not been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, the energy involved in the infield aggregation in terms of fuel consumption was studied for different logistic scenarios using a tractor (control) handling 1 and 2 BPT and an ABP handling 8 to 23 BPT with different field areas (8 to 259 ha), biomass yields (3–40 Mg/ha), and four outlet locations using realistic equipment turning paths through a user-developed simulation program in ‘R.’ Field area, biomass yield, and BPT were the most influential variables affecting logistics distance and fuel quantity. Distance for the ABP (8–259 ha) with 8 BPT was decreased on average 83% and 67% compared to that of the tractor with 1 and 2 BPT, respectively, while the corresponding decrease in fuel consumption was 72% and 53%. Aggregating at the field middle produced the least aggregation distance (44% of origin) followed by the mid-edge (30% of origin). The BPT specific and combined prediction models (multi-variate nonlinear) of logistics distance, operation time, and fuel quantity using the influential field variables produced good fits (R2 ' 0.98). Overall, an ABP with a capacity of 8 BPT, which can also handle 11 BPT, is recommended considering the bale aggregation logistics energy. Future work should explore bale stack formation and economic analysis of infield logistics using tractor and ABP.