Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey All!

I'm in the beginning stages of a research project for school, and I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to the greater saxophone and woodwind community for some help!

I am researching the environmental impact of cultivating the Arundo Donax reed for my Environmental Science course, and I've found some pretty interesting sources so far, including several promoting the use of our beloved plant as a source of biofuel. However, I was wondering if anyone out there in cyberspace has heard of or read anything related to sustainable agriculture in the reed industry. This is an important subtopic of my project, and I seem to be coming up empty upon first, second, and third glances.

As always, thank you in advance for your replies!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,986 Posts
For a while there, I recall Gonzalez company marketed theirs as organic or sustainable or something of that sort. You may want to check into that.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
@ConnorTsax, Arundo Donax is a WEED and needs absolutely nothing to grow like crazy.

Maybe you could take an original twist on the sustainable agriculture aspect by researching how responsible growers can prevent it from spreading and infesting neighboring crops !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,756 Posts
Hey All!

I'm in the beginning stages of a research project for school, and I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to the greater saxophone and woodwind community for some help!

I am researching the environmental impact of cultivating the Arundo Donax reed for my Environmental Science course, and I've found some pretty interesting sources so far, including several promoting the use of our beloved plant as a source of biofuel. However, I was wondering if anyone out there in cyberspace has heard of or read anything related to sustainable agriculture in the reed industry. This is an important subtopic of my project, and I seem to be coming up empty upon first, second, and third glances.

As always, thank you in advance for your replies!
Contact the reed manufacturers. Explain what you're doing and ask them questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
vries1 has got it right. It's found growing naturally like a weed in lowland wet areas, but can migrate into valuable agricultural land that's near or in flood plains that support annual crops. You can harvest the heck out of it and it regrows the next season, like cutting a lawn...it's a grass. Over fertilizing near a waterway would not be a good practice. Most cane is naturally grown and just harvested. Blurbs about organic and sustainable, while true, aren't about their going to any effort, that's just the way it is! It may be that some companies do manage their cane, I'd suggest that this has more to do with promotional issues or trying to achieve consistency rather than a necessity. No matter what you do cane is a natural product, and as such will be inconsistent. If it were otherwise every reed in a box would be consistent and good...not happening. The other thing to consider is the size of the reed and how many you can get per hectare. It's going to be multi-millions. This isn't like agriculture or forestry. The amount of land required and impact is minuscule compared to almost every other land use. Run some figures and you'll probably find that a few hectares is all that's required for the whole world's consumption. Here's a video that can give you an idea of the volumes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwOUEsdpuI0
That video is from Rico, who I think are the largest grower/processors. Although the stock lying down looks like a lot, when you consider how they grow, this field of cane lying down represents a much smaller growing area. You can more or less see the fields of cane in the background with a spacing between stocks of around 10 canes/M3. That = around 100,000 stems per Ha. How many reeds can they manufacture from each stock? Maybe 50? So that's 5,000,000 manufactured reeds per Ha. I think you can work it out from there in terms of world wide demand and the amount of land required. It's not much.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,865 Posts
Hey All!

I'm in the beginning stages of a research project for school, and I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to the greater saxophone and woodwind community for some help!

I am researching the environmental impact of cultivating the Arundo Donax reed for my Environmental Science course, and I've found some pretty interesting sources so far, including several promoting the use of our beloved plant as a source of biofuel. However, I was wondering if anyone out there in cyberspace has heard of or read anything related to sustainable agriculture in the reed industry. This is an important subtopic of my project, and I seem to be coming up empty upon first, second, and third glances.

As always, thank you in advance for your replies!

To tell the truth the giant reed arundo donax is a pest as others have said, and grows well and fast, but to grow very well it may need some fertilizing but organic fertilizers do suffice. Traditionally it is grown in areas where marshes are where the soil is rather poorly fertilized. Anyway that is not necessarily a bad thing.
You don’t want to put too much nitrogen into the life’s cycle because that’s not good for a good plant and the production of good reed ( too much nitrogen will make a weak fiber). But it is a VERY easy crop (compared to most) to manage in a sustainable way.


READ this study

https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/15/4225/htm


According to the studies they investigated, giant reed is among the most promising grass species. In terms of sustainability, extensive grassland management and a low level of mineral fertilization is required and using conventional farm machinery contributes to the best economic performances.



Form the Gonzales site"

Cane Growing
Argendonax S.A. owned by the Gonzalez - Davolos family, currently has four plantations of Arundo Donax with a total cultivated area of 104 acres.
These are supervised since 2006 by the Agronomist Pablo Nacaratto, who since joining our staff has set new standards in high production of organic farming of Arundo Donax.
The cultivation system is in furrows, separated by alleys from 20 to 30 feet wide, depending on the plantation’s age. The irrigation system is the California drip type, taking the water from wells located 590 to 650 feet deep.
Only organic fertilizers are used in our plantations (worm humus or goat manure). We do not make use artificial pesticides or agrochemicals.
Mendoza’s sun and soil do the rest, these are essential in order to obtain this excellent raw material with its special sound and unique yellow color.
The harvest takes place in winter when the cane is the driest and the sap has settled to the bottom of the plant. The canes are harvested manually with pruning shears and are cut only after the second lifecycle. Only the best pieces are selected based on the plant’s age and diameter.
Subsequently the leaves are removed. The canes are finally laid out in the sun during 30 days, one by one being rotated manually in order to make sure that the drying is complete and uniform.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,436 Posts
To tell the truth the giant reed arundo donax is a pest as others have said, and grows well and fast, but to grow very well it may need some fertilizing but organic fertilizers do suffice. Traditionally it is grown in areas where marshes are where the soil is rather poorly fertilized. Anyway that is not necessarily a bad thing.
You don’t want to put too much nitrogen into the life’s cycle because that’s not good for a good plant and the production of good reed ( too much nitrogen will make a weak fiber). But it is a VERY easy crop (compared to most) to manage in a sustainable way.


READ this study

https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/15/4225/htm


According to the studies they investigated, giant reed is among the most promising grass species. In terms of sustainability, extensive grassland management and a low level of mineral fertilization is required and using conventional farm machinery contributes to the best economic performances.



Form the Gonzales site"

Cane Growing
Argendonax S.A. owned by the Gonzalez - Davolos family, currently has four plantations of Arundo Donax with a total cultivated area of 104 acres.
These are supervised since 2006 by the Agronomist Pablo Nacaratto, who since joining our staff has set new standards in high production of organic farming of Arundo Donax.
The cultivation system is in furrows, separated by alleys from 20 to 30 feet wide, depending on the plantation’s age. The irrigation system is the California drip type, taking the water from wells located 590 to 650 feet deep.
Only organic fertilizers are used in our plantations (worm humus or goat manure). We do not make use artificial pesticides or agrochemicals.
Mendoza’s sun and soil do the rest, these are essential in order to obtain this excellent raw material with its special sound and unique yellow color.
The harvest takes place in winter when the cane is the driest and the sap has settled to the bottom of the plant. The canes are harvested manually with pruning shears and are cut only after the second lifecycle. Only the best pieces are selected based on the plant’s age and diameter.
Subsequently the leaves are removed. The canes are finally laid out in the sun during 30 days, one by one being rotated manually in order to make sure that the drying is complete and uniform.
Comparable to growing hemp?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
Some growing 100 feet from my house.
I'm envious. Can't grow it up here in Zone 5A (Zone 4 USA). But some day I'll get around to building that greenhouse in the back yard and grow all my own reeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
Don't be envious. It's an invasive species that's pushing out native plants in California.

In CA they are called tules. Pronounced toolies. We also have a low lying fog called tule fog but I don't know if it's related.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tule_fog
"This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley." So maybe that's where it comes from. Tules grow in low lying wetlands.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,865 Posts
not only, the reed growing spontaneously is generally unsuited to be used as blanks, but you can try and see why buying a reed is way more practical.

The amount of work (and expenditure) involved in making your own reed is such that you will quickly reconsider. Think that canes are stored, on average, 3 years before being turned into playing reeds.

Comparable to growing hemp?
To some extent yes.

Hemp, grows on its own everywhere , but growing it for textile purposes (different from the other varieties grown for the flower) growing a good fiber, is a different thing than let the plant grow wild or grow it for seeds (oil) or flowers .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
Three years, eh? I look forward to having that kind of time to invest in a recreational project. :)

And I do consider Arundo Donax a recreational weed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,865 Posts
the longer they cure the reed the better the reed is, although reed is not wood ( reed is a grass type) like in wood it is better to stabilize the product .
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top