Farm Mechanization and Energy Management

As the autonomous platform was designed to operate in raised bed planting system, it requires structure versatility to attend to all the terrain situations in the field. For this application, a platform was designed with four wheels which will run in between two side by side furrows and the bed will come underneath the frame, so that crop damage can be avoided.

Reaper for the harvesting of short and bushy crops was developed at Farm Machinery Research Workshop (FMRW), CRIDA. Initial testing of cutting mechanism was conducted on green gram crop. The average plant density varied between 35-42 plants per m² and height of green gram ranged from 20-30 cm at the time of harvesting. It was observed that the developed mechanism can cut the crop stems very smoothly with better cutting efficiency.

A Solar-cum-battery operated weeder was tested in the field. The performance of the machine was varied with (i) soil moisture (ii) soil type (iii) weed density and (iii) operating speed. With full charged batteries, operational speed obtained was 0.3 m/s. Performance in good operating conditions, the machine gave 84-92% weeding efficiency as against 51-64% in non-favourable conditions.

A weed inflorescence shredding hydraulic system operated implement was developed and its performance was found satisfactory. The shredding rotary machine composed of 75 cm rotary shaft driven by hydraulic motor and a concave with L- angle support structure covers the shaft from rear.