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Title:Harvesting machinery technologies for precision and sustainable sugarcane production
Author(s):Wempe, Paul A.
Advisor(s):Hansen, Alan C.
Contributor(s):Grift, Tony E.; Chowdhary, Girish
Department / Program:Engineering Administration
Discipline:Agricultural & Biological Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Yield monitoring
Base cutter blade
Cutting blade
Cut quality
Stem damage
Stubble height
Abstract:Many aspects of the sugarcane harvesting process affect the entire supply chain. The goal of this study was to develop harvesting machinery technologies for sustainable sugarcane production that maximize material throughput rates while minimizing losses and achieving optimum quality. Estimated yield maps were produced using the GPS location of each machine used in the harvesting process. Further work is required to fully develop this method but this study is the first of its kind to leverage multi-machine geospatial information for a sugarcane harvesting operation. Harvester pressure fluctuations were measured in an attempt to correlate sugarcane bending forces and harvester throughput. Evaluation of pressure measurements were not conducted due to measurement errors. The quality of cut with perennial energy crops such as sugarcane is of considerable importance as damage inflicted on cut stems and root systems affects ratooning and causes a reduction in yield. This study also aimed at investigating the impact on sugarcane cut quality of four base-cutter blade designs: conventional straight blade, 30° angled blade, serrated blade, and straight blade with laser cladding on its underside. Stem damage and root system damage were considered as cut quality indicators. Percentage of undamaged stalks from the angled, laser clad, serrated and straight blades was determined to be 62.1%, 72.3%, 79.7% and 76.9%, respectively. Excluding the angled blade, the other blade sets cut almost 80% of stems without affecting the root system and only 5% of stems were uprooted.
Issue Date:2017-04-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Paul A. Wempe
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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