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AHB Newsletter – Volume 7, No. 1 [Spring 2018]

Editor’s Notes

In this edition we share big changes happening at AHB’s “Poplar for Biofuels” Demonstration Sites. Over the fall and winter, GreenWood Resources removed the poplars at Hayden and Jefferson and restored and prepared the land for a new crop. This spring brought the second harvest of the Pilchuck demonstration site where modifications to the harvester’s header debuted. We reflect on AHB’s impact to energy Extension efforts by ripple effect mapping our contribution to energy outreach nationwide. We also share information from the field on the experiences of Latino agricultural workers working on AHB’s demonstration sites. We explore the challenges and opportunities facing the Latino labor force whose skill and knowledge make our demonstration sites possible.

Happy reading!
Nora Haider

A machine sitting in a field.

After Poplar, Restoring the Land for a New Crop

As the AHB project comes to a close, researchers are working to restore the project’s demonstration poplar farms. Researchers found that restoring a site by grinding up the biomass remaining in the field limits resprouting of poplar remnants.

Equipment Changes Make Harvesting More Efficient, Less Stressful

In May, modifications to the New Holland FB130 coppice header debuted for the second harvest at the Pilchuck poplar demonstration farm. The header is now framed by revolving augers that help guide the poplar stems and branches into the rotating drums drums of the machinery.
Top left (A): 4 men sitting at a table, top right (B): 4 men standing in a field of poplar trees, bottom left (C): mixed group of men and women sitting at tables, bottom right (D): a man and a woman talking.

Making a Meeting Matter: What Makes an Impact?

Those of you who have been involved with AHB for a long time, probably know about or maybe attended, one or more of the three large poplar-focused meetings we've held over the course of the project. AHB also played an instrumental role in the National Energy Extension Summits (NEES) by hosting the 2015 Summit in Seattle. AHB is still active in the National Energy Extension Initiative (NEEI).

Poplar Agricultural Workers: What they know and what they need

Agricultural workers play a critical role in AHB. They plant the poplar trees, maintain the demonstration sites, help conduct inventories, and aid in the harvest of the trees. Over a year ago, Tatiana Giraldo and Patricia Townsend began organizing focus groups with the workers who had experience working on the AHB poplar demonstration farms.