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Overlap loss of manually and automatically guided mowers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009402.(doi:10.13031/2013.30085)
Authors:   Theodore James Shinners, Matthew Francis Digman, John C Panuska
Keywords:   overlap loss, swath control, mower conditioner, precision agriculture, GPS, GIS, guidance, automatic steering, automatic guidance, auto-guidance, machine management, economic'Introduction

Automatic guidance has been purported to improve efficiency by eliminating time spent covering already mowed ground, reducing operator fatigue, and ensuring a uniform cutting pattern and swath density. In this study, overlap loss was explored through a controlled experiment as well as through on-farm survey. The experimental portion employed a factorial design to study the influence of two drivers and three cutting speeds (6.4, 9.7 and 12.9 km h-1) of a self-propelled windrower. The on-farm survey included three mower configurations: pull-type, self-propelled windrower, and mounted, as well as; cutting widths ranging from 4.01 to 9.60 m and a variety of field conditions on fifteen farms. Three of the mounted mowers and one self-propelled windrower utilized automatic guidance. Surveyed losses ranged from 0.4 to 16.13% of machine cutting width. Average loss was 5% of cutting width. The use of a GPS-based guidance system to steer the mower was shown to reduce overlap loss from 5.03% to 2.34%.

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