Willow Coppice Energy
Energy crops are used as fuel in power stations and heating systems. In substitution for fossil fuels, they have the potential to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
SRC (short rotation coppice) consists of densely planted, high-yielding varieties of either willow or poplar, harvested on a 2 – 5 year cycle, although commonly every 3 years. SRC is a woody, perennial crop, the rootstock or stools remaining in the ground after harvest with new shoots emerging the following spring. A plantation could be viable for up to 30 years before re-planting becomes necessary, although this depends on the productivity of the stools. Willow SRC is planted in the spring using planting material produced by specialist breeders and equipment specifically designed for the purpose. The willow will grow rapidly in the first year reaching up to 4m in height. During the winter after planting the stems are cut back to ground level to encourage the growth of multiple stems i.e. coppiced. Generally three years after cutback and again during the winter, the crop is harvested.
Here at Strawsons we have planted 35 acres of willow to fuel a wood burning stove which heats the entire Hexgreave Estate Hall, the hall has been converted in to offices which are let out to local companies. All the heating at the hall is powered by green energy.
The waste water from the Packhouse which the carrots and parsnips are washed in, is dumped continously and pumped on to the willow coppice.
ipad use in fields
GateKeeper software for crop management can help you analyse the performance of your cropping enterprise whilst dealing effectively and efficiently with crop legislation.
Web agronomy has all of the features of Web viewer, but it also allows the Agronomist to capture field inspection notes whilst crop walking which can be exchanged wirelessly with GateKeeper on the PC. These inspection notes are automatically compiled into Recommendation plans and jobs ready to be sent to the grower.
It also allows the export of Work plans from GateKeeper to the app providing the operator with complete instructions and also the means to capture completed work in real time. Better still, there is even a Load calculator and recording tool which calculates chemical etc required for each tank load, plus record what has been applied. The operator can specify part loads and the product rates will be updated automatically. This is a real productivity tool for busy farmers allowing records to be captured in the field and reduces the administrative burden of having to enter records back in the office.
This way of working has huge benefits to us as a company:
- Real time information – Once the applications have been carried out this information is put straight on the iPad, which then work colleagues in the office can access immediately
- No issues with losing paper issued recommendation sheets
- Paper less process from start to finish
- Entry & Higher level stewardship schemes – new hedgerow and woodland planting
- Pond and traditional deer park restoration
- Working closely with local ornithologist and FWAG
- Willow coppice project for heating system
- Water re-cycling project for packhouse