Energy crops grown in Poland
Shrubs and trees which can grow easily after cutting down:
Virginia Fan Petals
For energy purposes shrubby willow is the most useful species (Salix viminalis L)
It is a perennial grass
A cross-section of shrubs with number of stems from a few to several
high yields - the annual increase may be 7-15 t / ha of dry wood
long lifetime plantations (15-20 years)
the moisture content of biomass harvested in late autumn and winter is around 45-
50% and it increases transportation costs and reduces the calorific value
difficult mechanization of harvesting (in a 3-year cycle it is necessary to use special
large water needs - requires soils with high (about 200cm) ground water level, but not
high risk of disease and pests
White poplar doesn’t have large soil and water requirements, especially compared to
Energy poplar reaches very good growth on the Class V soil, with peat and sand
substrate, in the field without drainage.
Annual increase in height is 2.5-3 m, while the annual increase in mass of a single tree
is approx. 3-3.5 kg.
Biomass harvest is carried out every 2-3 years, with a trunk diameter at ground level
to 10 cm.
For machine harvesting a poplar is planted in the same way as energy willow.
Weeds threaten the energy crop as any other and it is the only weak point of this
Poplar planting is done in double rows with spacing of 80 cm, the width between two
rows of the inter-twin is 300 cm, and the spacing between plants in a row - 75-80 cm.
Virginia Fan Petals
Virginia Fan Petals also called sidą from Sida hermaphrodita.
It is a perennial plant.
It belongs to the plants resistant to frost, ground frost and drought.
It has low soil and fertilizer requirements.
Of all the energy crops it is the most suitable for pellet production due to the
relatively low content of nitrogen, chlorine, ash and heavy metals.
Virginia Fan Petals
harvest from the late autumn to spring with biomass moisture content 20-30%
low ash content and minerals (N, K, Cl), hence the small loss of fertilizer
components with the yield
possibility to use typical agricultural machinery for harvest (a forage harvester)
possibility of growing it on weaker soils
poor seed germination, due to the hardness of the covers, influences
very weak field germination capacity of not more than 30-40%
high susceptibility to disease (roots and base of the stems - fusarium, Stem Rot and
leaves rot) caused by fungi: Colletotrichum, Phoma, Borytis
Jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour (Helianthus
tuberosus L.) - a species of plant in the family Asteraceae originating from North
Jerusalem artichoke is not requiring and it is easy to grow.
Crops are perennial, but usually fields are occupied for 2-3 years.
Longer growing in the same place is associated with decreased yields.
The yield of tubers from 1 hectare is sometimes higher than potatoes and it is usually
20-30 tons. The record harvest are at 150-160 t / ha.
After drying and crushing aboveground shoots can either be directly burned in
furnaces or used as a raw material for the manufacture of briquettes and granules
Its requirements are similar to potatoes – it grows preferably on fertile soil,
moderately moist, deep and airy.
The tubers are harvested from autumn to frost, optionally in the spring.
Although the species is cultivated mainly in the temperate climate zone, is also
introduced to cultivation in the tropical zone, where the weaker yields are offset by the
rapid growth in conditions of high temperatures.
Cutting the stems during optimum for the extraction of biomass period, just before
flowering, causes growth restriction of tubers up to 40-60%.
Jerusalem artichoke grows in almost any soil, it is also resistant to freezing and quite
resistant to drought.
Miscanthus is an expansive hummock grass, originally from Southeast Asia.
It effectively uses solar radiation, water and fertilizer components.
Miscanthus is grown in Europe for about 50 years, initially as an ornamental
plant, and for several years on energy plantations.
It produces a thick and stiff stem with a spongy core, 200-350 cm high.
It doesn’t have high requirements and it grows well wherever corn is grown
(medium compacted and easily heating up soil).
In Polish eastern regions, especially in the north-east, Amur silver-grass
cultivation may be more warranted, because it is more resistant to low
high yield potential (up to 20-25 t / ha): a plant with C4 photosynthesis pathway;
the useful life of the plantation is 15-20 years;
the possibility to use for a typical set of mechanization of agricultural equipment;
the appearance of diseases or pests has not been found on this plant yet;
low fertilizer requirements.
in Polish climatic conditions it doesn’t produce capable of germination seeds -
it requires production of seedlings;
in the first year after planting it is necessary to protect the plantation from
freezing by mulching the field with straw, leaves or plastic mulch;
expensive seedlings, even 12-16 thousand. zł / ha.
Prairie cordgrass is an extensive plant, springing up to 2 m, forming huge and loose
tussocks, covered densely with long up to 80 - 90 cm and wide up to 1.5 cm leaves.
In mid-summer, there are 30 cm long inflorescences.
Generative shoots are empty in the middle.
The useful life of the plantation is 15-20 years;
Yield: 15 - 20 t dry basis/ ha / year
Moisture content during harvest: 15 - 30% (depending on the time and weather
- It doesn’t have high soil requirements
- It is used as anti-erosion plant
- It is highly resistant to most pathogens
- It does not require a high fertilization
- Low moisture content after harvest
- Very high cost of seedlings
- Sensitivity to weed infestation in the first year of cultivation
- The possibility of damaging the rhizomes during the harvest
- In winter the reduction of dry basis yield is due to loss of leaves
Big bluestem is an expansive grass with rigid, filled with core blades, 1-2.5 m long
It grows in dense grey and green clumps.
Its characteristic raceme inflorescences are composed of 2-3 finger-like spikes.
Climate and soil requirements of perennial grasses are not too high
These plants are grown well even on soil of class V and VI and on wasteland
Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi). The homeland of this species are the prairies
of North America. As a thermophilic species, it begins vegetation only in May,
giving the greatest growth of biomass.
A perennial ornamental grass from North America.
It grows up to 110 cm high and it takes the form of a cascade.
With inflorescence it grows up to 150 cm.
Its leaves are rather broad, arched, initially green, they turn dark red late summer.
From July to September its inflorescences are red.
As a thermophilic species, it begins vegetation only in May, giving the greatest growth
It requires a fairly fertile, drained soil and sunny, sheltered position.
It is a completely hardy plant grass.