Evaluation, refinement and development of tractor operated sugarcane cutter planters

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Two designs of sugarcane cutter planters namely IISR Lucknow designed ITI make and Khalsa PE 630 were evaluated under laboratory and field conditions. Set cutting and fertilizer metering mechanism were evaluated under laboratory conditions. It was found that cutting force required to cut sugarcane setts varied form 12.2 to 106.57 N depending upon diameter of cane. The cutting force varied 29.14 to 106.57 N in cylindrical cutting mechanism used in Khalsa PE 630 planters and 12.2 to 81.20 in rotary cutting mechanism used in IISR planter. Evaluation of fertilizer metering mechanism showed that there were wide variations in quantity of fertilizer metered at different settings. The recommended doses of fertilizers could not be metered in many cases. Intensive field evaluation of both planters was carried out in different parts of the country. The field capacity of the planter varied from 0.08 — 0.22 ha/h and field efficiency 30.61 — 71.33 %. Depth of planting varied form 12 — 25 cm. Set length was 30 — 50 cm and bud damage was less than 5%. Refinements were carried out in the sugarcane cutter planters, which included adoption of screw conveyor metering system for fertilizer and refinements in blade geometry of the set cutting unit. In addition a two row adjustable spacing 90, 120 and 150 cm sugarcane cutter planter having force feed rotary cutting system was also developed.

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