Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew J. Darr


With commercial scale cellulosic ethanol in the formative stages of building large-scale feedstock supply chains there is a requirement for biomass harvesting equipment to be capable of increasing the densification of agricultural residue. The current technologies in use are large square balers, which were not specifically designed for the harvesting of agricultural residues such as corn stover. With the growing demand for corn stover harvesting, the equipment needs to be improved and refined to overcome the challenges that corn stover harvesting presents, while meeting and exceeding industry standards for custom harvesting. The harvest capacity of this equipment set is greatly decreased in corn stover biomass harvesting because of increases in maintenance and downtime caused by the harsh operating conditions.

The objective of this research was to discover correlations between harvesting equipment's downtime and productivity. Results of this work analyzed a comprehensive corn stover harvesting data set from an 8000-acre commercial corn stover harvest. The outcome of this research will benefit both the cellulosic processers, as well as the growers and custom harvesters of agricultural biomass.


Copyright Owner

Benjamin Ross Covington



File Format


File Size

68 pages