We are now ready to proceed with collecting a spread of feedstock samples to undertake some fundamental testing to understand the biochemical properties of the material on offer – what we call in the biz, a “proximate, ultimate and ash analysis”! My colleague, Warren Penny, will be co-ordinating all of this so he will no doubt be in contact with you all at some point to chase samples etc.
After discussion with Drummy, we have ultimately landed on a view that there does not appear to be a material variation of soil types within the Ararat catchment to bother too much about segmenting samples on this basis. So, the only thing we need to do is get a representative spread of samples from a range of farms, and across a range of species/varieties.
I’m looking for your input here – please help me to narrow down a list of the straw/residue supplies to be drawn from the major crops under cultivation in the district:
- Major wheat varieties – are there 1,2 or 3 etc? What are they?
- Barley (is it essentially only one variety?)
- Oaten Hay (any variants, or is it all ‘same, same’?)
- Canola (residue)
In terms of sample volumes, we will need a 20L bucket worth of material (lightly packed) for each source/location so we can be sure to get through the various tests required. Obviously, not all of this will be available right now, due to season, so just focus on what is available on your farm now and we can chase down the rest to ‘fill in the blanks’ in due course. Ideally, you can gather this sample over the next 7 days or so, and I can collect it when in town next week (see below).
On another note, it would be great if we could also set aside perhaps 3 bales’ (or its equivalent volume) worth of wheat straw + 1 bale of all of the other sources identified above, with a view to using this in the coming months to do some actual product sampling/testing too (inclusive of various blends etc).