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Combination of simulation and web tools for immediate result transfer to the user: the case of biomass harvest

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1000015.(doi:10.13031/2013.32189)
Authors:   Remigio Berruto, Patrizia Busato, Norbert Froeba, Mathias Funk
Keywords:   web application, logistics, simulation, biomass

The rising cost of inputs factors and the low market price of agricultural products in general and of cereals in particular, followed by the drop in EU subsidizes, have certainly contributed to a strong interest both from public institutions, research, and farmers, to the use of biomass for the production of energy. Alongside the traditional agricultural systems are facing a whole new scenarios for the adoption of non-food crops. In this context, the lack of information and tools to evaluate economic, energy and environmental aspects is a limit to the development of such products. For the convenience of non-food crops compared to traditional crops the authors have developed a Web application ( It considers the farm as a whole considering in detail the costs of the inputs used, use of machinery and labor. Based on actual use of the machines are calculated operating costs per hour ( / h) or reported the unitary cost of operation ( / ha). The application also compute the economic and energy balance of the cultivation (output energy consider both the main product and the by-products, if they are recovered). The application returns, moreover, the ratio output / input for the crop, and the net energy produced by the crop. The KTBL since many years publish yearly data on machinery performance, including working times, fuel consumption (Frba & Funk, 2004), manpower consumption and economic costs (Brunotte & Frba, 2007). In 2006 KTBL launched a web based application (Feldarbeitsrechner,, which makes available over 3500 operations for plant production on-line.

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