Harvesting involves cutting the whole tree about 150mm from the ground, chopping the material into 10-30mm lengths, and blowing it into field bins for transport to the distillery (Plate 11).
Single or multi-row heavy duty forage harvesters are commonly used. They must be robust enough to handle the woody stems, have a high throughput capacity and be operated by a powerful tractor, given the bulk of material commonly handled (Colton and Murtagh 1990).
Field bins are usually tipping trailer bins with a capacity of up to 3 tonnes. They can also be cartridges which are transported to the distillery on a trailer and lowered onto a fixed base. Once distillation is complete spent leaf is tipped out and the bins are returned to the field for refilling.
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