C.O. Olowojola, T. Faleye and L.A.S. Agbetoye
A leafy vegetable harvester was developed to enhance mechanized production of herbaceous vegetables such as amaranthus. The harvester was powered from the tractor’s Power – Take – Off (PTO). The ground wheel of the harvester powered the conveyor, which transmits power to the conveyor belts for transporting the harvested vegetable from the cutting unit to the storage bin. The machine was tested under operational and agronomic parameters: knife speeds, forward speeds and vegetable heights. Regression analysis and ANOVA at 0.05 significant level were used to analyse the effects of the parameters on the performance of the harvester. Results during tests indicated that the field capacity of the machine increases linearly with increase in knife speed and forward speed. At 447 rpm knife speed and 5.04 km/hr, the field capacity was 0.18 ha/hr and the harvesting efficiency was 68%. At a reduced forward speed, the field capacity and harvesting efficiency increased to 0.20 ha/hr and 92% respectively. At high vegetable height (average of 69.60 cm), the harvesting efficiency reduced considerable largely due to the frame of the machine which tends to push “standing” vegetables away from the reach of the cutting unit.
Share this article