At Green Fuel we utilize 8000 Series CASE Mechanical Harvesters from Brazil. CASE lead the world in cane-harvesting technology and dependability, promoting excellent cane quality and ultra-clean samples.
Mechanisation of sugarcane harvesting in Brazil has been shown to decrease environmental impacts and waste, while also increasing efficiency, energy cogeneration and thus sector profits and national energy security. Mechanisation eliminates the need for burning, speeding up the collection process, eliminating harmful emissions from smoke, reducing crop wastage and thus increasing productivity in terms of energy generation.
Our harvesters work 24 hours per day during the harvesting season, cutting the cane and throwing it into the tractor-trailer before taking it to the mill where the cane is processed. Each harvster has the capacity to harvest up to 1000tonnes of sugarcane per day.
The benefits of mechanized harvesting include the following:
- Increased yield because of effective harvesting as it roots down to the bottom level of the crop i.e. 2” below the ground level.
- Saves additional expenses spent on stubble shaving.
- Fosters better ratoon rejuvenation as harvesting is done well beneath the ground level.
- Leads to increased number of ratoons. (Multiple ratooning).
- Results in better ratoon performance as harvesting operations are taken up in one stretch.
- Mechanical harvesting deposits sugar cane leaf material/trash in the field which reduces water losses through evaporation and run off. This also increases the organic carbon content of the soil and is beneficial for soil fertility, as well as acting as mulch to the field and reducing the risk of early shoot borer.
- The harvested cane is delivered to the factory within 1- 2 hours of harvest, which avoids weight loss and sucrose inversion.
- Crop dividers and trim knives gently lift and separate the stalk row to be harvested from adjacent rows, moving less soil and minimizing stool damage.
- Basecutters cut cane efficiently and precisely at ground level, reducing the amount of stools pulled out and delivering clean cutting to ensure ideal ratooning conditions.
- A built-in autotracker system lowers or raisers the harvester through sensors in the hydraulic suspension system, providing automatic control of the basecutter height which creates a precise and uniform cut, again reducing losses and damage to stools.
The harvesters are especially designed to preserve stools and maximize future yields.
In order to ensure that our techniques remain cutting edge, we have researched best practice sugar cane agricultural technologies from around the world, in particular Brazil, and tailored these to the African continent.
We have developed highly mechanised agriculture production – from tillage planting to mechanical harvesting, utilising:
- Laser and GPS levelling for fields and canals, etc.
- Auto-steer for maximum land utilisation
- Variable Rate Application and Precision Placement of Fertilizers and Chemicals, accurate to 2.5cm year on year
- Field Soil Mapping maximising yield potential and uniformity
- Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) compliant
- Minimum tillage practices
To ensure the ‘green’ cycle of ethanol from sugar cane, sustainable agricultural practices are in place in line with EU Guidelines published in June 2010 on the practical implementation of biofuels and bioliquids sustainability scheme, including:
- Mechanised harvesting
- Zero tillage and precision farming techniques used
- No change to land use
- By-products are re-used and waste is converted into biogas and fertiliser (vinasse)