Shredders for Plant ResiduesThis technology will assist farmers in managing their plant residues. It is a good alternative to burning them, with the loss of nutrients and pollution involved. It also disposes of plant residues quickly, so they do not serve as a host for pests and diseases.The shredded materials can be used as a mulching material, or composted to make an organic fertilizer or a substrate for mushroom cultivation.Types of ShredderVarious shredders have been developed to suit different kinds of plant residues. There are five main types:Straw chopper: This machine is suitable for rice straw and other soft plant stems, such as corn plants, water hyacinth, and fodder crops.
ApplicationA suitable shredder is available for most tropical plant residues. Growers should be careful to select the type most suitable for their particular crops. All the shredders described in this leaflet can be operated using an engine or an electrical motor. They can be used out in the field, or in a backyard shed.Using shredders, farmers can make productive use of their plant residues which would otherwise be rubbish. They will also help to protect natural resources and the environment.Agricultural Engineering Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand. (2002, Jan. 04). Shredders for Plant Residues. Food and Fertilizer Technology Center.
The chopper is mainly used for stalk forage, such as rice straw, wheat straw, maize stover and maize for ensiling. Straw choppers can be classified by size into small, medium and large. The small-size chopper is mainly adapted for chopping dry straw or silage on small-scale farms. The large chopper - also called a silage chopper - is mainly used for silage on cattle farms. The medium chopper is normally suited to cutting dry straw and silage, so it is called a straw-silage chopper.
Choppers can be divided into cylinder or flywheel types, according to the mode of cutting. Large- and medium-size choppers are generally flywheel types, to facilitate throwing silage, but the majority of small choppers are cylinder type. Large and medium choppers are usually equipped with road wheels for easy movement, while small-size choppers are normally stationary.Agriculture and Consumer Protection. (2013). Crop residue processing machines. FAO Corporate Document Repository.SOIL INCORPORATIONAt least in two soil types studied, incorporation was satisfactory when straw was chopped short (1 1/2-4 inches) and spread over the field. That was true in both the extreme wet season of 1972-73 and the drier season of 1971-72. Stubble should be short (not over 6-7 inches), either from the combine or from cutting in a later operation.Shear-bar choppers have been found more effective than impact shredders in shortening straw, and further, are just as effective with moist straw as with dry straw. A field chopper with a cutterbar header might be used to recut tall stubble as the windrow is picked up.Straw decomposition is speeded by some type of tillage that provides contact with the soil. And any tillage is made easier and more thorough be chopping first.R.A. Kepner, e. a. (1973). Machinery and Costs for Soil Incorporation of Rice Straw and Stubble. Rice Research Board.