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Development of a field testing unit for vertical tillage (VT) and seeding

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

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801237.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801237)
Authors:   Sumanth Kuntavalli, Ying Chen, Qingjin Peng
Keywords:   vertical tillage, vertical seeding, design, tool, field, test.

Abstract. Tillage and seeding, the physical manipulation or disturbance of the soil for crop production, are important aspects of agriculture. Over the ages, farmers have relied on conservation tillage and seeding to improve crop productivity and agriculture sustainability. VT (vertical tillage) and VS (vertical seeding) are new methods to deal with heavy crop residues in conservation agriculture. However, field testing units for evaluating VT and VS machines were not available. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to develop a field unit to test soil-engaging tools for VT and VS. The field testing unit is designed to have the following features: instrumented for field measurements; capable of traveling on highways; versatile for mounting different vertical tillage tools; adjustable toolbar gang angle (0 to 15º) and tool working depth (1-16 in). The major mechanical components of the testing unit include a toolbar frame, main frame, pull type hitch, two transportation wheels, and a hydraulic system. The unit is also equipped with electronic instruments, such as a dynamometer, laser profilers, and high-speed cameras to monitor soil dynamics properties. The design is modeled using Solid Works. The model was imported into Ansys to determine the stability of the unit during field operations at different speeds, under the external loads of soil cutting forces of soil-engaging tools. The field unit was fabricated and tested in a field. Field measurements were compared with Ansys analysis results. Results are in progress and will be reported in the future.

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