Assessment of sugarcane yield monitoring technology for precision agriculture

Jensen, T. and Baillie, C. and Bramley, R. and Di Bella, L. and Whiteing, C. and Davis, R. (2010) Assessment of sugarcane yield monitoring technology for precision agriculture. In: 32nd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ASSCT 2010), 11-14 May 2010, Bundaberg, Australia.

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Within the Australian Sugar industry a number of attempts have been made to monitor yield variation across a block. These have ranged from the early yield monitoring systems based on discrete mass measurement, to the current focus of predicting yield via surrogate measurements based on chopper pressure, feed train roller displacement and elevator power. This paper describes an independent evaluation of commercially available mass flow sensors that was conducted to assess current performance of yield monitoring options while identifying opportunities for developing improved cane yield monitoring systems. Three yield monitoring systems which were commercially available in 2008 (AgGuide, TechAgro and MTData) were fitted to a BSES-owned CH2500 Cameco harvester. Trials were conducted during the 2008 and 2009 seasons in the Ingham district of North Queensland. Each yield monitoring system was assessed simultaneously to eliminate the influence of machine setup and site characteristics that would be encountered through independently assessing each unit. During the trial, the harvester was operated according to Harvesting Best Practice (HBP). In addition to yield monitoring, sugarcane yield was also measured using a weigh bin in order to determine the absolute accuracy and resolution of the respective yield monitoring systems. Weigh bin and mill weight data were used to assess the yield monitors at a range of scales including; 50 m of row, full rows, multiple rows (i.e. plot of 9 rows) and the entire field. These assessments were made with the harvester operating at both high and low pour rates. Only the TechAgro unit was found to provide results that were sufficiently accurate to be considered as a potentially viable sugarcane yield monitor. Performance of this unit was, however substantially reduced at high pour rates and this sensor was unable to account for changing pour rates. Recommendations for further refining the devices and for additional work are included.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2011 01:58
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 01:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: precision agriculture; yield monitoring; evaluation; sugarcane
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070104 Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820304 Sugar

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