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|Title: ||MECHANICAL CASSAVA HARVESTING AS INFLUENCED BY SEEDBED PREPARATION AND CASSAVA VARIETY|
|Authors: ||Amponsah, S. K.|
Bobobee, E. Y. H.
Agyare, W. A.
Okyere, J. B.
King, S. R.
|Issue Date: ||Jan-2014|
|Publisher: ||Transactions of the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers)|
|Citation: ||Transactions of the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers), 30(3):391-403|
|Abstract: ||Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is the world’s third most important crop and an essential source of food
and income throughout the tropics providing livelihood for over 500 million farmers and countless processors and
traders. In Ghana, cassava contributes 22% of Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) and is an emerging
profitable industry crop. Large-scale cassava harvesting especially during the dry season is the greatest constraint to its
industrial demand and commercial production. Manual harvesting is slow and associated with drudgery and high root
damage in the dry season. A mechanical harvester is needed to break the labor bottleneck associated with cassava
harvesting. Research on mechanization of cassava production however is very low, especially in the area of harvesting
and currently there exists no known mechanical cassava harvesters in Ghana. The main objective of this study was to
assess the response of five different cassava varieties to mechanical harvesting on ridged and flat landforms. Results from
field trials using the tek mechanical cassava harvester showed that best performance was achieved on ridged landforms,
which have better tuber yields and root tuber orientation. Among all the cassava varieties, “Nkabom” was generally
found to more easily lend itself to mechanical harvesting due to its bunchy nature. The tek mechanical harvester worked
best on fields with minimal trash or weeds and relatively dry soils with moisture content from 12%-16% db and requires
drafts of up to 10.33 kN with penetration depth from 23 to 29 cm. Best harvesting performance was achieved at a tractor
speed of 5 km/h giving a field capacity of 1.9 to 2.5 h/ha. After mechanical harvesting, the field is left plowed with savings
on fuel, time and cost. However, it is recommended to field evaluate the harvester in all agro-ecological zones and
through a wide range of soil moisture regimes in Ghana to determine suitable areas for mechanical harvesting and to
promote nationwide adoption.|
|Description: ||This article is published in Transactions of the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) and also available at DOI: 10.13031/aea.30.10495|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Agric and Natural Resources|
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