Power requirements of hemp cutting and conditioning

Ying Chen, Jean Louis Gratton, Jude Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Laboratory experiments were conducted on cutting hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) using a sickle knife section and a countershear to determine the mechanical properties of the stems. The results showed that the cutting force and energy were significantly greater at a higher moisture content and specific mass of hemp stem. The average values of the maximum force and the total cutting energy required for cutting a hemp stem were 243 N and 2-1 J, respectively, which were much higher than those reported in the literature for cutting forage crops and maize stalk. Based on the laboratory results, the cutting power requirement in a field situation was estimated using the specific mass of hemp stem and machine feed rate. Power requirement associated with feed rate was investigated in a field experiment of cutting hemp using a reciprocating cutterbar mower operated at three different feed rates. Field conditioning experiments were also conducted to investigate the power requirement for conditioning hemp and a forage crop (alfalfa). The results showed that conditioning hemp required 10-60% more specific energy than conditioning alfalfa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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