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Design and Development of a Stick Planter for the Developing World

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

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121336707.(doi:10.13031/2013.41856)
Authors:   Adrian A Koller, Jorge A Rascon, Eric Lam, Max Metcalf, Austin Childers, Bill Raun, Randy Taylor, Paul Weckler
Keywords:   Hand planter, developing world, corn production, yield increase

Maize production provides crucial food for people in third world countries, where it has not only become a staple food but also a major income source for farmers. Of roughly 34 million hectares of corn planted in the developing world, about 21 million hectares are planted by rudimentary methods that involve poking the ground with a stick and dropping the seeds into the ground. Some of the more durable tools are equipped with a heavy iron tip that enhances ground penetration. Two or more seeds planted in the same place reduces yield potential due to intraspecific interference. Also in-row plant spacing is generally too large, again reducing the potential yield. The objective of this work is to design and develop a hand-operated, robust, light-weight, novel stick planter that is able to singulate seeds into the ground. The key design elements of the stick planter consist of a reciprocating drum for seed singulation and an extension spring system providing the restoring force.

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