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Sugar Cane Yield Monitoring System

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 26(6): 965-969. (doi: 10.13031/2013.35905) @2010
Authors:   M. Mailander, C. Benjamin, R. Price, S. Hall
Keywords:   Yield monitor, Sugar cane, Harvester, Precision agriculture, Weighing, Sensor, GPS

The objectives of this study were to develop a scale to continuously weigh sugar cane as it was being harvested, to determine the scale's accuracy, and to statistically analyze the effects of variety, maturity, flow-rate, and section/row length on the accuracy. A yield monitoring system was developed for a billet-type harvester consisting of a weigh plate, a data acquisition system, and a differential global positioning system. The weigh plate was mounted on a 1997 CAMECO CH2500 combine in the upper portion of the elevator and supported by load cells mounted in an adjustable protective box. The data acquisition system was set up to record consecutive measurements based on a slat conveyer speed of 183 cm (72 in.) per second. Experiments were run with different levels of maturity, variety, row/section length, and flow rate, and the measured weight of material was compared to a weigh wagon. Results indicate that the system was able to predict sugar cane yield (which is measured by weight) with a measured versus predicted weight regression slope of 0.9 and an R2 of 0.97. The average error for all readings was 11 percent. This work showed statistically that the scale readings varied by yield and variety, but that maturity, section length, and flow rate did not have a significant effect on the readings.

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