Harvest of natural shrubs with a biobaler in various environments in Québec, Ontario and Minnesota

P. Savoie, D. Current, F. S. Robert, P. L. Hébert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The biobaler is a novel approach to cut woody crops up to 150-mm basal diameter and compress the biomass into round bales. It can be used to harvest short-rotation woody crop plantations such as willow or hybrid poplar. It can also be used to clear wild brush, forest understory, and encroaching small trees to improve land management. A commercial version of the biobaler was evaluated for the latter purpose, i.e., to harvest natural shrubs in various environments in central Canada (at three sites in Québec and two sites in Ontario) and in mid-western United States (at seven sites in Minnesota). More than 250 bales were harvested and monitored on natural stands in 2009 and 2010 to gain information on machinery management under wide-ranging conditions of crop species, density, and soil conditions. The harvest rate ranged from 2 to 26 bales/h (average of 14 bales/h). Bale mass averaged 477 kg at 46% moisture content [260 kg dry mass (DM)/bale at a density of 166 kg DM/m3]. Diesel fuel consumption averaged 8.5 L/t DM. Harvesting cost with the biobaler was estimated at $33/t DM in high yield with rapid harvest (20 bale/h) and $64/t DM at low capacity (10 bales/h) which can be caused by lower yield or poor traction. The information will be helpful to evaluate the cost of environmental management of natural stands covered with brush and the potential biomass that may be recovered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-801
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012


  • Bales
  • Biomass
  • Harvest
  • Round
  • Woody plants


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