ENERGY REQUIREMENT OF A TILLAGE METHOD FOR SPINACH CULTIVATION
The development of new methods of mechanization in horticulture mainly focused on techniques of soil tillage and direct seeding in open field, need versatile machines, adaptable to different crops and growing conditions, such as high density autumn sowing of vegetable crops in soils prone to surface water stagnation. Tillage machines must create, in only a passage, a seed bed made of a soft layer of refined ground, representing the best conditions for seed wetting and germination. The sowing machines must adapt to different types of seed often characterized by small size, that makes it difficult their correct laying in the ground, according to crop standard requirements, in terms of distance among the seeds on the rows and among the rows. A test method for the assessment of the energy demand of such crops, has been applied to the cultivation of spinach based on the following operations and machines: main tillage by means of a medium depth three-furrow reversible plough; refinement of the superficial layer of ground by means of a stone-burier machine equipped with a rear plain ridge roller; sowing by means of a precision drill specific for the use in horticulture. These machines underwent a series of tests at the Agricultural Machinery Testing Centre of CRA-ING, specialized in testing of machinery for soil tillage and sowing, in accordance with the ENAMA protocols for the evaluation of the functional characteristics, recognized in Europe by ENTAM. The results provided a clear picture of the performances of each machine (fuel consumption, working time, power required, energy requirements per surface unit), and also allowed to estimate the global demand of work and energy of the cultivation system. Under the specific test conditions, the demand of energy per surface unit reached a quite high value, equal to 1004 MJ ha-1.
Fanigliulo , R. and Pochi, D. (2011). ENERGY REQUIREMENT OF A TILLAGE METHOD FOR SPINACH CULTIVATION. Acta Hortic. 919, 123-129
testing, performances, soil tillage, stone burier machine