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1519-1529 V. Adamchuk, V. Bulgakov, N. Skorikov, T. Yezekyan and J. Olt
Developing a new design of wood chopper for grape vine and fruit tree pruning and the results of field testing
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Developing a new design of wood chopper for grape vine and fruit tree pruning and the results of field testing

V. Adamchuk¹, V. Bulgakov², N. Skorikov³, T. Yezekyan⁴ and J. Olt⁴*

¹National Scientific Centre, Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Electrification, 11, Vokzalna Str., Glevakha-1, Vasylkiv District, UA 08631 Kiev Region, Ukraine
²National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, 15, Heroyiv Oborony Str., UA 03041 Kyiv, Ukraine
³Government-Financed Establishment of the Republic of the Crimea ‘National Research Institute for Vine and Wine Magarach’, 31 Kirov St., Yalta, Republic of the Crimea, RU 298600, Russia
⁴Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Technology, Kreutzwaldi 56, EE 51014 Tartu, Estonia
*Correspondence: jyri.olt@emu.ee


The problem of collecting and utilising the pruned canes of grape vines and branches and twigs from fruit trees that are left in vineyards and orchards all year round after the scheduled pruning of plantations in early spring is the topic of the day, and it is one that requires an effective solution. One of the ways in which the problem might be solved is the utilisation of pruning material as an organic fertiliser after it has been gathered, so that it is chopped, evenly spread in the inter-row spaces in the plantation, and ploughed into the soil, so that it decomposes there, and is digested. Meanwhile, the degree of pruned material disintegration and the level of quality shown in the work of spreading it across the area both have to ensure the complete decomposition of any such ploughed-under wood waste within one calendar year. The aim of this research project was to increase efficiency levels in chopping and spreading grape vine and fruit tree pruning material on the basis of the development of a new design of wood chopper and the results obtained in field testing this piece of equipment. The research uses engineering and design methods which are based on the theory of collecting from ground level and further transporting wood and plant materials, the theory behind cutting, crushing, and spreading, and also the methods used in experimental research, field testing, and the statistical analysis of test results. We have developed a new design arrangement for a wood chopper for grape vines and fruit trees, one which combines the mechanism for collecting slender, flexible waste wood pieces that are of a considerable length from the ground with a system that involves the transportation, chopping, shredding, and spreading over the soil surface of such materials. The prototype wood chopper design which was subsequently produced has been tested for several years in the laboratory and in field conditions and has delivered positive results. From the results of the field tests it has been found that, when using the aforementioned work process, a considerable reduction is achieved in terms of energy consumption and labour input in comparison with similar indicators for wood choppers that have been produced by recognised manufacturers. For example, the power demand for one metre of the machine’s working width is just 15 kW, which is virtually two times less than the respective figure for a similar, recognised machine. The degree at which pruning material is collected from the ground is 95.4%, while the degree at which they disintegrate lengthwise is within a measurement of 10 cm, while the weight of the chopper is 1.5 times smaller than that of the similar machine used in the comparison studies. The use of these wood choppers provides an
opportunity to implement widely across the horticultural industry those innovative technologies
that not only aim at reducing energy and labour consumption, but which also help substantially
to cut down the demand for the input of mineral fertilisers, which improves the overall ecological
characteristics of the natural environment.

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