Development of a system and machinery for collection and removal of crop residue from protected plotsOrchard, Vegetablesby Yossi Kashti
תחום או ענף אגרוטכנולוגיה; אורגני; ירקות
תאריך עדכון 14/3/2012
Development of a system and machinery for collection and removal of crop residue from protected plots
Y. Kashti, I. Sagi, O. Kesar, A. Levi, F. Geoola, R. Brikman – Institute of Agricultural Engineering, ARO
A. Gadiel – Central and Northern Arava R&D
R. Amir – Extension Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
E-mail address for correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of a season of vegetable production in a greenhouse, the plants are manually removed. This process requires 3 work days and 5 tractor hours per dunam. The material is removed for sanitary reasons, to avoid the transmission of diseases to future crops. The amount of greenhouse vegetable production in Israel stands at 65,000 dunams. Thousands of work-days are spent removing the remains of old crops from these areas.
The goal of this research is the development of a method and equipment for the mechanization of this process. Examination of the matter led to the identification of three possible methods for mechanized removal of crop residue. We chose to more closely examine the cheapest of these methods. The chosen method includes three mechanized activities that are carried out one after the other with the help of the farm tractor. The activities are: uprooting the plants, concentration of the uprooted plant material in a bin and collecting and chopping up the plants as they are collected as preparation for the production of compost. Over the last two years, we examined the process of removing crop residue from greenhouses with the help of different types of existing equipment, machines that were specially prepared and tested and machines that were purchased from different manufacturers. We tested the abilities of four types of uprooting machinery to uproot whole plants and crop residue: a knife uprooter with one central leg, a knife uprooter with two side legs, a disc uprooter and a finger uprooter. A piece of equipment based on a set of pitchforks was evaluated in an area thick with whole plants and residue. We evaluated the efficacy of two types of mowers for collecting and chopping up whole plants.
The mechanized residue removal experiments were conducted in the western Negev and the central Arava. The experiments were conducted in pepper plots in screen-houses and greenhouses belonging to different developers, on sandy and sandy/loess soils, with varying agro-technical specifications (plot width, number of rows per plot, distance between rows, etc.) The main experiments were conducted in the Arava beginning in early May, immediately after the last harvest while the plants were still green and continued each month until the plants withered.
After two years of research, the results of this work show that the optimal timing for removing crop residue is immediately after the last harvest while the plants are still green. At that point, few leaves and fruit are cut-off from the plants and dropped to the ground. We also found that collecting plant matter and then depositing it in place with a mower that includes a container and has no pick-up (wheel with lifting fingers) left the area cleaner. The finger plow successfully uprooted crop remains in moist and dry soil.
Based on the results obtained from two seasons of research (2009/10 and 2010/11), it appears that the possible process for mechanized removal of crop residue includes two phases: 1) mowing with a mower that includes a container immediately after the last harvest, while the plants are still standing in the ground; and 2) uprooting and collecting the crop residue. Therefore, before the third year of this research, we will build a mower without pick-up that has a large container that will be sufficient for the collection of plants from at least two plots and the collection of the crop residue after uprooting.
We thank the growers, Noa and Atar Sahak from Hetzva and the staff and management of the Besor Farm and the Yair Farm, on whose property experiments were carried out, for their help. We thank Amotz from the Ego Company and Aharon Yemini for contributing the piece of equipment based on a set of pitchforks and the mower for the first experiments. We thank Motti Ben-Ami from the Ein Yahav welding shop for helping us with tool repair. Special thanks to Ram Golan, on whose farm the main experiments were carried out, for dedicating his time and effort to this project and for very pleasantly providing us with advice and technical equipment. Thank you to Mickey Kaplan, Central and Northern Arava R&D Tamar, as well as the office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture for financial support for research project no. 458-0518-09.
מלות מפתח vegetable, greenhouses, pepper, capsicum
מחבר Yossi Kashti, I. Sagi, O. Kesar, A. Levi, F. Geoola, R. Brikman, A. Gadiel, R. Amir
תאריך יצירה 14/3/2012
תאריך עדכון 14/3/2012