New Method and Machinery for Collecting Pruned Palm Tree Branches
|The new method includes several stages and requires no labor work|
|I. Sagi, et al.|
|July 10, 2014|
The new method includes the following stages: 1. collection of the pruned branches into a windrow using a rotary rakes windrower, 2. chopping them with a new machine, 3. collection of the pieces into square bale using a large square baler. The method requires no manual labor and is extremely economical for palm tree growers
The Institute of Agricultural Engineering, together with the R&D departments of Southern Arava and Kibbutz Yotvata, has developed a novel method for the collection of pruned palm tree branches. The new method includes the following stages: 1. collection of the pruned branches into a windrow using a rotary rakes windrower, 2. chopping them with a new machine developed especially for palm tree branches, in conjunction with the Tzach Afula Metal Industry, 3. collection of the pieces into square bale using a large square baler. The method requires no manual labor and is extremely economical for palm tree growers.
Date production is one of the most profitable and stable field of agriculture in Israel. There are currently about 35,000 dunams of plantation around the country, and in recent years, the field has recorded a 10% annual growth rate. One of the more complex problems faced by date growers is the amount of manual work invested in the care and treatment of the plantation. More than 10 work days per dunam are invested each year in the harvesting of the fruit and care of the plantation such as pruning of palm branches (branches extending up to
Stage.1 - Collection of the pruned branches into a windrow using a rotary rakes windrower
The first stage in dealing with pruned palm branches is collecting them in windrows. Trials conducted indicated that a rotary rakes windrower was most suitable than other types of windrowers (illustration 2). In order to collect the branches closed to trees without damaging the rakes of windrower a special passive protection system was developed and mounted on the windrower. The unit enables safely collection of pruned palm branches lying adjacent to the trees. This rotating rakes collect the pruned brunches into windrow between etch two tree rows.
Stage 2 - Chopping them with a new machine developed especially for palm tree branches, in conjunction with the Tzach Afula Metal Industry
In the second stage the pruned palm branches were chopped into small pieces. A special chopper was designed for chopping palm branches as other types of available three point's linkage crushers and small choppers proved to be inappropriate, since palm branches are long and comprised of a fibrous material that is difficult to crush. Therefore, the novel chopper, developed in conjunction with the Tzach Afula Metal industry (illustration 3) has an especially large entryway of
Stage 3 - Collection of the pieces into square bale using a large square baler
In the last stage the chopped materials are collected into large square bales using a large square baler. Trials were conducted on both small round baler and large square baler and the square baler was found to be more suitable (illustration 4). A bale of about
The method and the machineries are now in their second year of commercial operation at Kibbutz Yotvata, with great success. They have chopped and collected pruned palm branches from about 500 dumans of plantation without manual labor. The chopped material was used as dairy farm ground covering of the kibbutz. At the end, the ground covering gradually is mixed with the cow manure and will be recycled and used as compost. The cost of the new method, which involves no labor work, for collection of pruned palm tree branches is about 290 IS per dunam while, the cost of the previous method was about 600 IS per dunam.
Ran Ziv, Ori Mishli – Kibbutz Yotvata
Amnon Greenberg – R&D Southern Arava
(Published in ISRAEL AGRICULTURE, 2010)