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Wood Chips from Hedgerows – Biomass Potential for On-Farm Mulching and Bioenergy?

Gruber, Dr. Sabine and Claupein, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm (2008) Wood Chips from Hedgerows – Biomass Potential for On-Farm Mulching and Bioenergy? Paper at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science: 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Hedgerows are landscape features with ecological value and agricultural benefits which are appreciated in organic farming. Biomass from periodical cutting down of hedgerows is often unutilized litter. The study assesses different ways how to use wood chips from hedgerows, and quantifies the biomass potential for either mulching arable land with wood chips or, alternatively, for bioenergy use. The calculations are based on experiments at the experimental station for organic farming Kleinhohenheim and on literature. The yield of wood chips was clearly too low to mulch the total arable land of the model farm. Hedgerows on an area equal to 1% of the farm area yielded wood chips for 0.05 ha if 160 m3 ha-1 were applied. This layer significantly reduced weeds. Hedgerows covering 5% or 20% of the farmland would provide wood chips for about 0.2 or 1 ha for mulching or, used as firewood, they would cover the corresponding fuel oil demand of more than one average household. Compared to poplars in short rotation coppice on the same area, the energy output is low. Since an energy use of wood chips is ecological and economical inefficient, mulching seems a reasonable way to use wood chips from cutting hedgerow, in spite of low yields. Wood chips should be applied to thoroughly selected areas, such as slopes (protection from soil erosion), crops with wide inter-row-distance or to perennial, high-value crops.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:agro-eco-systems, soil protection, landscape, bio-energy
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Germany > University of Hohenheim > Institute of Crop Science
International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 6.2 Agro-Ecology
Deposited By: Gruber, Dr. Sabine
ID Code:11729
Deposited On:07 Oct 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed
Additional Publishing Information:The paper is published in:
Daniel Neuhoff, Niels Halberg, Thomas Alföldi, William Lockeretz, Andreas Thommen, Ilse. A. Rasmussen, John Hermansen, Mette Vaarst, Lorna Lueck, Fabio Caporali, Henning Hogh Jensen, Paola Migliorini, Helga Willer (Editors)
Cultivating the Future Based on Science. Volume 2 - Livestock, Socio-economy and Cross disciplinary Research in Organic Agriculture. Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), held at the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Consorzio ModenaBio, 18 – 20 June 2008 in Modena, Italy. International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), DE-Bonn; Institute of Organic Agriculture (IOL), DE-Bonn; Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), CH-Frick, Danish Research Centre for Organic Food and Farming (DARCOF), DK-8830 Tjele
ISBN: 978-3-03736-024-8, 863 pages

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