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Moisture Determination in Windrowed Switchgrass Using Electrical Resistance Probes

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 28(3): 623-629. (doi: 10.13031/2013.42425) @2012
Authors:   G. D. Chesser Jr., J. D. Davis, J. L. Purswell, R. Lemus
Keywords:   Moisture measurement, Switchgrass, Hay, Pressure, Orientation

Determining moisture content (MC) levels in windrowed biomass is important for both forage producers and researchers. Energy crops such as switchgrass have been troublesome when using standard methods set for electrical resistance meters. The objectives of this study were to i) develop the methodologies needed to measure MC in switchgrass using electrical resistance meters, ii) to determine the effects of pressure and probe orientation on MC measurement and iii) to generate MC calibration equations for electrical resistance meters using switchgrass in the senescence growth stage. Two meters (Meter 1, Farmex HT-PRO; Meter 2, Delmhorst F-2000) were selected based on commercial availability. A forage compression apparatus was designed and constructed with on-farm materials and methods to provide a simple system of applying pressure achievable by any forage producer or researcher in the field. A study was performed to test four levels of moisture contents (10%, 20%, 30%, and 40%), five pressures (0, 1.68, 3.11, 4.55,

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