Conference paper Open Access

Camelina seeds harvesting: evaluation of work performance of a combine harvester in two experimental fields in Italy and Spain

Walter Stefanoni; Simone Bergonzoli; Francesco Latterini; Vincenzo Alfano; Alessandro Suardi; Nadia Palmieri; Sandu Lazar; luigi pari

Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz in an interesting oil crop for multipurpose uses and its cultivation is gaining growing attention in Mediterranean context. This species is indeed suitable for cultivation in marginal lands and feasible to crop rotation with cereals. Camelina seeds are currently harvested by a combine harvester equipped with cereal header. Considering the tiny dimension of the seeds, which can lead to substantial seed loss, proper assessment of mechanical harvesting is a key issue for the correct development of effective camelina seeds supply chain. The present study is one of the first which aimed to analyze mechanical harvesting of camelina seeds through combine harvester. Work performance, in details work productivity, harvesting costs and seed loss, of harvesting operation were carried out in two experimental field tests. The first one located in Northern Italy and characterized by organic farming, whilst the second experimental field was located in Spain, with conventional farming system. While working productivity and harvesting costs resulted to be comparable to the ones found in literature for other seeds collected by combine harvester, seed loss showed higher values. This is mainly related to two factors: the small dimension of seeds and the presence of weeds. Proper combine setting and assessment of the working speed seem currently being the most effective solutions to reduce seed loss.

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