I also want to grow small [1-2 acres] organic sugar cane. On the above [link] video, they recommend a sugar cane harvester [from Brazil] to save on cost to harvest willow.
What I want to find, is a cane harvester that is PTO operated, that can be run off of my Backhoe/tractor.
I don't know how far this Willow harvesting will go? At the moment, I'm only thinking about being able to harvest the equivalent to 2 cords of wood for personal winter heating use, and to mulch planted crops, so I can avoid any weed killing Monsanto stuff [I would never use that crap anyway]. Actually, I would like to keep "weeds" [barley, rye, clover, etc] between the rows on all my crops/orchards. The animals can mow them down as needed, and it could be a beneficial winter grazing for them in my no till setup. I imagine that the willow chips could become a business in itself one day. Both as a mulch and as a biomass fuel source. Think rocket stoves in greenhouses keeping aquaponics at a liveable temperature for the fish.
I did some Google searching, but didn't come up with anything useable [sometimes it gets frustrating]. I'm still in the planning stages. I still have a bunch of stuff to work out. Some help on this subject would be greatly appreciated! I still have three years before I can afford to buy any land to build a garden of Eden on.
Look for an old Corn silage cutter, common on dairy farms. Old one row machines go for scrap iron prices. They take some power to run. You will need a silage wagon as well, to catch the chips.
For a couple cords worth, you can do that by hand with a corn knife or machete and a small wood chipper. At least to see if you like the idea.
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"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
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