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Sida plant

Written by Reinhard Sperr on Ottobre 21, 2017 in Glossario

(See also Sida, Sida east, Sida hermaphrodita)

The Sida plant (= Sida hermaphrodita l. rusby) is one of the newer extensive energy plants. According to our knowledge, only in Poland, there is some decades-long experience with Sida. Botanically, it is a perennial, i.e. a long-lasting, herbaceous, deciduous plant. In late autumn, it accumulates nutrients in its roots and dies above the ground. From this time until the new sprouting starts, harvesting is possible with commercial row-less maize choppers without modifying them. Sida plants are recommended to be chopped, like Miscanthus, in February, March, and April, since then the water content drops down to a very low level of about 8-15% and, thus, is perfectly storable or can be burn immediately.

Sida hermaphrodita l. Rusby has its greatest advantages on medium and also weakly supplied soils, it also copes well with a thinner humus layer and even provides attractive yields in locations with less than 600 mm of rainfall.
The yields are documented quite differently. We do not expect any wonders from extensive energy plant Sida, as well as from our other plants. In weak locations, 7-12 tons of dry matter are already a very passable result, while the best one can achieve over 15 tons. In Central Europe, we consider 30-40 tons that are sometimes announced as unrealistic.

The time of planting Sida is in April, where the early plants are mostly planted in the greenhouse with about 12,000-15,000 pcs per hectare. Direct sowing is discussed much; its results are very different and far from homogeneous. This is why we recommend planting early seedlings for the time being.

In overall, for us, Sida complements the range of extensive energy plants in a very positive way, where classics, such as Miscanthus, poplars, and willows, do not provide good results anymore.

© - Reinhard Sperr (2008 – 2017)