Development of a Tractor Drawn Turmeric Planter
Keywords:Development, testing, tractor-drawn turmeric, planter
Planting of turmeric has been a challenge to the farmers in Nigeria due to the absence of planting machine. The farmers are left to the traditional method of planting with hoes and cutlasses. This method is time consuming, labour intensive, associated with human drudgery and a high demand for human energy. As a result, a mechanical planter was designed and fabricated. The main objective of the study is to develop and evaluate the performance of a tractor- drawn turmeric planter. The planter was designed, fabricated and tested in the Agricultural and Bioresources Department of The Federal University of Technology, Minna. It consists of a ground drive wheel, hopper, metering system furrow opener, residue cutting edge, furrow closing device press wheel and power transmission mechanism. The performance tests of the fabricated machine were carried out using three levels of turmeric rhizome lengths (30 mm, 45 mm and 60 mm) at three levels of operational speeds (8km/h 10km/h and 12km/h). The results revealed that there was no steady pattern in the increase or decrease of miss index with increase in turmeric rhizome length and machine operational speed. The highest percentage turmeric rhizome miss index of 35% was recorded for turmeric rhizome length of 30cm at machine operational speed of 10km/h whereas the lowest percentage turmeric rhizome miss index of 15% was obtained for turmeric rhizome length of 60cm at the machine operational speed of 12km/h. The machine operational speed and size of the turmeric rhizomes affect the field capacity of the machine. The highest capacity of 0.96ha/h was recorded at the highest operational speed of 12km/h. The lowest field capacity of 0.63ha/h was recorded at the lowest machine speed of 8km/h. The developed machine could reduce drudgery involved in manual turmeric planting and save about substantial amount of labour and operating time.
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