Performance Evaluation of an Engine-Operated Weeding Machine

Degefa Woyessa


Weeds constitute a serious problem to wheat crops and cause a great loss to the yield. Manual weeding is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Chemical weed control has a negative impact on both the environment and humans. Today the agricultural sector requires non-chemical weed control that safeguards consumers demand for high quality food products and pay special attention to food safety. The objectives of the study was to evaluate the performance of an-engine operated weeder by evaluating the weeding efficiency, plant damage, effective field capacity, field efficiency, fuel consumption, performance index, energy consumption, and cost economics of engine operated weeder in wheat crop. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) and evaluation was conducted at three weeder forward speeds (1.5, 2, and 2.5 km/hr), two depths of operation (from 0 to 20 and from 0 to 40 mm), and three levels of soil moisture content (9.4, 12.34 and 15.25%). The performance of the weeder was found to be optimum at 15.25 percent soil moisture content with 0 to 40 mm depth of operation at a forward speed of 1.5 km/hr. The results revealed that maximum weeding efficiency of 90.1 percent was obtained with lower plant damage of 3.31 percent whereas the effective field capacity, field efficiency, fuel consumption, performance index, and energy consumption were found to be 0.052 ha/hr, 85.99%, 0.41 l/hr, 276.78 ha/hp, and 481.71 MJ/ha, respectively. The analysis revealed that forward speed, depth of operation, and soil moisture had significant effects on weeding efficiency, plant damage, effective field capacity, and fuel consumption at P<0.05 level of significance. The cost of weeding per hectare were 758 and 1920 ETB/ha for engine-operated weeders and traditional weeding methods, respectively. Based on the performance results, it can be concluded that the weeding machine is efficient, effective, and economically viable option with high scope for acceptability among small and medium scale farmers.

Keywords: Cost of weeding, Energy consumption, field efficiency, plant damage, Performance, Weeding efficiency

DOI: 10.7176/JIEA/13-2-01

Publication date:March 31st 2023

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