The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences participates as partner in the project “Diversified harvesting and valorization system of maize residues (MAIS_100%)”, financed by the Lombardy Region in the context of the Rural Development Plan (Misura 16 – COOPERAZIONE; sottomisura 16.1 – Sostegno per la costituzione e la gestione dei gruppi operativi del PEI in materia di produttività e sostenibilità dell’agricoltura – Operazione 16.1.01 – Gruppi Operativi PEI). The project is coordinated by the Italian Biogas and Gasification Consortium (CIB) of Lodi and has 7 Partners, 5 of which are farms operating in the Po Valley. The Scientific Responsibility of the project is assigned to the DiSAA (Prof. Marco Fiala). The general objective is to evaluate the possibility of valorizing – by introducing specific machines –stalks, cobs and husks that remain on the field after the grain (dry or wet) harvesting, supporting their diffusion in production chains of the Po Valley. Currently, these residues, although having interesting characteristics of using as it concerns animal breeding (food and bedding for cattle) and energy generation (biomethane), are generally left on the field, shredded, and, subsequently, buried. Their use is of interests for maize and livestock farms which – since they are generally equipped with an anaerobic digestion plant (biogas, biomethane) – could have a low cost “multipurpose” co-product, able to reduce the production costs and improve the sustainability of the biomass-to-energy chain. The possible use of maize co-products will be assessed by considering – in addition to site-specific working conditions – technical, economic and environmental performances of different harvesting chains, some of which based on already used machines, and others based on innovative implements. The qualitative characteristics of the collected biomass (i.e. ST, SV, NDF, ADF, ADL, NTK, methanogenic potential) will also be monitored experimentally.
A specific site will be opened when the project is activated.
Marco Fiala; +39 503 16 868