I’m studying for my last year as master industrial engineer in agriculture of temperate regions, at Institut Superieur Industriel in agronomy of Huy, Belgium. I realise my memory of end of study on the recovery of the hemp straw animal bedding, and an economic analysis comparing the differents litters. My work takes place in a Belgian horse, and at the laboratory of ecology of grasslands in Michamps (Bastogne). I’m sorry because my english is not perfect..
In fact, I find interesting and important to take the advice of a maximum of scientists to carry out my work. So, I would like to briefly describe you what it will be.
In Belgium, there has not yet defibring units of hemp. Only one unit of ”masticotage” (partial defibring) will come on stream in 2010 to enhance hemp in construction.
My study concern therefore about a feasibility study to upgrade the hemp straw into animal bedding. A first part concerns the intrinsic qualities of hemp straw (water holding capacity, speed of imbibition, ionics adsorption, bacterial infections, etc.) and the behavior of animals (first step : with horses) in this litter.
The second part will be to characterize the types of mincing or grinding (chopping?) possible in Belgium and Walloon Region. A priori defibring complete units are not obvious to establish because the acres of hemp would not follow.. So I seek to establish various types of family or craft hemp chopping, and so determine the properties of products obtained by these methods (specific surface, etc.) and their influences on the behavior of the litter, and estimate the cost of such facilities.
My last part is a technical and economic comparison of litter on the market today.
I would like to speak with you about the various kinds of grinding or chopping, as well as my methods of analysis on animal bedding. I know your region is more developped that Walloon Area. So I liked too to know how was developped the industry of hemp in your regions, and what type of machine chopping and grilling can we consider here in Belgium while we are on the beginning of hemp cultivation.
Eventually, if you think you have any documents or information that you would be useful for writing my paper, could you send me? Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, Olivier AUBRY