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Evaluation of a Variable Rate Irrigating Hill-seeder
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2008 Providence, Rhode Island, June 29 – July 2, 2008 083583.
Authors: Qing Yang, Shuming Yang, Chenghai Yang
Keywords: Variable rate irrigating, Synchronization between seeds and water, Performance test
A variable rate irrigating hill-seeder is a drought-alleviating and water-saving agricultural machine that can adjust water application automatically according to the soil moisture content and realize the synchronization between water and seeds through photoelectric-detecting technology. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of such a machine when it was used for planting maize. Experiment results showed that the machine had very good linearity and stability. The r-squared values for linear regression lines between measured and supplied water amounts were 0.989,0.988 and 0.985, respectively, when the tank was 100% full, 1/2 full and 1/8 full. Stability experiments showed that the coefficient of variation of the measured water amounts, when 200 ml of water was applied 30 times, was 2.42%,2.38% and 4.85%, respectively, for the three tank water levels. Field experiments indicated that the total synchronization rate between seeds and water reached 95% and that the mean distance between the seed and the center of water area was only 2.5 cm. The detection rate of the photoelectric sensor for maize seeds was 99.5% and 96%, respectively, for casting seeds manually and automatically. These results indicate that the variable rate irrigating hill-seeder works reliably and can be used for simultaneous seeding and watering under drought conditions.