Belong to the botanical family Brassicaceae many plant species of high economic interest and environmental. Among these, the Brassica carinata and Brassica napus are grown especially for energy purposes. Their cultivation in Italy has had a remarkable development in recent years and losses of grain in addition to direct damage such as loss of production entail negative repercussions on succeeding crops. In many areal Italian cultivation particularly of Brassica napus has encountered serious limitations due to the grain loss caused by natural dehiscence of the mature seed, an element that has shifted the interest of producers to the Brassica carinata, species more resistant to this phenomenon . Mechanical harvesting was frequently held responsible for the poor production obtained in some areas due to the opening of the pods for both natural dehiscence both during threshing. The general lack of reliable values on the real losses attributable to just the mechanical operation has contributed to these responsibilities. The PANACEA group, involved since 2007 in the assessment of the issue has done tests in different national seeking clarity about.


Rapeseed harvesting


An important issue that frequently have affected the cultivation of rapeseed regards the staggered ripening and dehiscence of siliques. To provide information on the real losses to the collection and how to provide for their containment, PANACEA made, starting in 2007, comparative tests collection of Brassica napus (canola) and Brassica carinata, adding same harvester of two types of headers collection, a common wheat and comprising a specific solutions for the Brassicaceae (movable blade on the horizontal plane and vertical separator blades on both sides).

The adoption of the heads with blade advanced, more or less, allows the fall of the seeds already inside the head in the front area or immediately above the feed auger. In the presence of significant development of the plants are also presented occasional cases of back leakage of the seed and siliques from the cylinder head above the screw.

The application of the lateral blades carries maximum efficiency when it fails to eliminate the action of tearing through the trees, sometimes intertwined, mowed and those still standing; tearing or rubbing is indeed the cause of stronger ground leakage.

Three years of experimentation have allowed to quantify accurately the extent of the product is not collected and to verify the effectiveness of the application as well as the importance of proper conduct of the collection, both in terms of both timing adjustments picker, in order to obtain the best production results.


Brassica carinata


Brassica carinata is another crop of some interest agro – energy for different sites and is rediscovering national interest at the level of farmers especially for its greater resistance to dehiscence of the mature siliques reducing the risk of product loss. In the wake of the research question received for Rapeseed experiences were conducted in 2008 in several growing areas, most of Sicily (Bioenergy project) and Emilia Romagna is working towards by combines variously equipped, is checking the conditions of the field and use of machinery.

In 2009, in Emilia Romagna, in collaboration with the Agricultural Cooperative of Ravenna, were conducted comparative tests of collection, as a result of experience gained in the previous year on the collection of rape, equipping the same with the combine is tested with specific applications for Brassicaceae both with traditional wheat head that is devoid of any accessory. Synthetically has confirmed the lower susceptibility to dehiscence of siliques compared to rapeseed even if the absence of blades sorting machines can create in certain conditions detachment siliqua entire sides where is the separation of the subsequent steps of the combine harvester.


   Brassicacee references