Development and Evaluation of Sugar Cane Harvester and Cutter

Gizachew Tefera


Sugarcane is an important crop widely cultivated for multiple purposes by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including Ethiopia. A report by the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) of Ethiopia showed that 1,090,575 households grew sugarcane in about 29,536.49 hectares of land and 13,470,350.06 productions in quintals and in Oromia region 324,526.00 households grew sugarcane and 3,162,239.03 productions in quintals. Harvesting is a process of cutting and gathering of mature crop from the field. Harvest laborers can easily fatigue due to excessive stress on the joints and muscles and are exposed to harmful pests from plantations, creating safety concerns. Mechanical harvesting also makes green cane harvesting possible, which reduces Green House Gas emissions from pre-harvest burning necessitated by manual harvesting. Statically analysis of ANOVA indicated that the cutting capacity of the prototype of sugar cane cuter was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by engine speed, sugarcane feed rate. The maximum cutting capacity of 1200.7 (stoke/h) was recorded when the engine speed was 400 rpm and the feed rate 3 (stoke/min). Increase in the engine speed resulted in increased cutting efficiency. The maximum cutting efficiency 99.48% was observed when the machine was operated at velocity of 400 rpm and at feed rate of 2 (stoke/min). Fuel consumption of the cutting machine increased with in increasing of engine speeds and increase with increasing of feed rates (from 100.33 to 124.33 ml/stoke with engine speed of 300 and 400 rpm and the feeding rate of 1, 2 and 3 stoke/min). Increase in the engine speed resulted in declined cutting efficiency. This could be due to the very fact that at higher engine speed the energy imparted to the sugarcane was high and hence causing disturbance for harmonic motion which leads to decline cutting uniformity. Maximum cutting uniformity 99.99% was observed when the machine was operated at velocity of 300 rpm and at feed rate of 1 (stoke/min). The average cut height (mm) remain on ground, Forward speed (km/hr), Actual width of cut (mm), Theoretical field capacity (ha/hr), Actual field capacity (ha/hr) and Field efficiency (%) were 50.75, 2.18, 600,1.31, 0.69 and 52.67 respectively.

Keywords: Harvesting, Sugar Cane, Development, Evaluation

DOI: 10.7176/ISDE/13-2-01

Publication date:July 31st 2023

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