Article publication in the framework of AGROinLOG under the title “Economic Distance to Gather Agricultural Residues from the Field to the Integrated Biomass Logistic Centre: A Spanish Case-Study”.
A big amount of agricultural residues are generated from crop production and partially remain in the field after harvest. Removing the excess of residues after crop harvesting can increase farmer income, providing feedstock that could be used for industrial and energy purposes. The costs for collection and transport of straw and stalks are site- and region-specific and depend on the availability of agricultural residue and on how much of the residue is removed from any specific field or location. If the biomass is baled then it is required to upload the bales on a trailer, transport and unload all the baled biomass to the storage center.
On the other hand, if a self-loading wagon is used the loose biomass collected, it must be unloaded every time the wagon is completely full. The distance and the harvesting system used influence the costs and should be analytically studied to avoid turning a possible profit into a disadvantageous business. The research represents a real case study to evaluate, which is the maximum distance to the biomass logistic center from which it is more economically convenient to gather the wheat and corn residues in bales instead of using a self-loading wagon. The results show a lower harvesting unitary cost for the self-loading forage wagon respect to the baling system. Although the study showed delivery distances over 11.4 km for wheat straw and 16.0 km for maize stalks, the use of the self-loading forage wagon is no longer convenient, and baling is the preferred harvesting system.