J. V. NANDANIYA*, T. D. MEHTA AND S. K. GAADHE
Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering,
College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology,
Junagadh Agriculture University, Junagadh, Gujarat 362001
*(e-mail : email@example.com)
(Received : 08 July 2022; Accepted : 29 September 2022)
Fodder harvesting is one of the enumerative as well as job creative farming. Lucerne is one of the oldest cultivated fodder crops in the world. In a present context, harvesting of fodder in India and Gujarat is done manually mostly. The well matured lucerne are harvested manually by sickle which is time consuming and inefficient. More over manual harvesting is done in a Squatting position which is arduous to the farmer and causes backache. Therefore, a project on development and performance evaluation of lucerne harvesting machine was undertaken. A lucerne harvesting machine was developed which consisted of main frame, diesel engine, conveyor unit, reel unit, cutting unit, handle, cutting height wheel and transporting wheel. The developed lucerne harvester were divided in two part (1) cutting unit having knives of 30 mm width and 2 mm thickness and (2) conveying unit which convey the harvest crop. A power transmit from engine to the cutting unit and conveying unit done by the help of belts and pulleys. The power required for cutting and conveying were 97 W and 215 W, respectively. The push force required for transportation in field. The performance of the developed lucerne harvester was evaluated in the field at three forward speeds. Such parameters was measured that the average harvesting efficiency, field efficiency and plant damage were 76.87 %, 74.55 % and 11.65 % respectively. The effective field capacity was 0.177 ha/h, at forward speed of 1.3-1.6 km/h, whereas by traditional method i.e. by sickle was 0.0041 ha/h. After harvesting, average height of stubble found to 6 cm. The total cost saved by developed lucerne harvester ware 19.5%.
Key words: Fodder crop, harvesting, squatting position, mechanization, efficiency