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Thesis

Development and Performance Evaluation of Tractor Operated Cotton (Gossypium spp.) Stalk Shredder-Mixer

English
Vyas S.S. And Mathur S.M.
12
6

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Mathur, S. M.
MPUT, UDAIPUR
168
Development, Performance, Evaluation, Tractor, Operated, Cotton, Stalk, Shredder-Mixer
Development and Performance Evaluation of Tractor Operated
Development and Performance Evaluation of Tractor Operated Cotton Stalk Shredder-Mixer
Ph.D

Cotton (Gossypium spp.) is an important fibre crop. It is grown in about seventy countries in the world and in an area of 31.8 million hectares. India is the largest producer of cotton in the world. As per the Cotton Advisory Board the area under cotton in India in 2016-17 was 108.45 lakh ha and the production was 345 lakh bales of 170 kg each. Rajasthan had 4.71 lakh ha land under cotton in year 2016-17. After final picking of cotton, plant stalks remain standing in the field. It is essential to remove them from the field for cultivation of the next crop. Their early removal suppresses pests, diseases and insects. It also provides more time for deep tillage at optimum soil moisture content. The present practice of removing cotton stalk from the field is pulling them by using a locally manufactured cotton stalk puller. Removal of cotton stalk by this puller is a cumbersome task and requires more time and labour. On an average about 2 to 3 ton of cotton stalk is generated in one hectare of land. About 15 per cent of these stalks are utilized as fuel and the remaining part goes as waste. Organic matter is lost due to this burning. It is also hazardous to the environment. It also affects biological equilibrium adversely. Cotton stalk can also be used for industrial purposes in manufacturing boards, boxes and microcrystalline cellulose. They are used to grow edible oyster mushrooms. However, their use for industrial purposes is limited. Another way of disposing cotton stalk is to shred and mix it with soil for its decomposition. Scientist have reported that when shredded cotton stalks are mixed with the soil they return 48 per cent of the N, 41 per cent of the P and 74 per cent of the K they had taken from the soil during their cultivation. Removing and chopping the cotton stalk manually is a very time consuming and cumbersome job. Therefore, mechanization of this operation is necessary. However, no machines are available for this work. Therefore, a tractor operated cotton stalk shredder-mixer was developed and it was evaluated in the field. The developed cotton stalk shredder-mixer consisted of different units which included plant converging unit, cutting and conveying unit, shredding unit, uprooting unit and mixing unit. 146 The field evaluation of the machine was conducted by taking speed of tractor (2, 3, 4 and 5 km/h), number of knives (2, 3, 4 and 6) and shredding plate speed (38.57, 45.58 and 52.60 m/s) as independent parameters. The dependent parameters were field capacity, average length of cut pieces, uprooting efficiency, mixing efficiency and material capacity. The best combination of the independent parameters was found to be tractor speed 4 km/h, four numbers of knives and 45.58 m/s shredding plate speed. At this combination field capacity, average length of cut pieces, uprooting efficiency, mixing efficiency and material capacity were found to be 0.40 ha/h, 54 mm, 96.80 per cent, 91.89 per cent and 2467 kg/h respectively. Cost of use of developed tractor operated stalk shredder –mixer was found to be Rs. 2281/- per ha. The profit with the use of tractor operated cotton stalk shredder-mixer over traditional method was found to be Rs. 38458/- per year. The payback period of the machine was found to be 3.9 years. Mixing of shredded cotton stalks to the soil in terms of organic manure provides nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to the soil worth Rs. 6820/-. It also provides humus to the soil which improves physical soil properties. It also helps in reducing environmental pollution and controlling pests

Development and Performance Evaluation of Tractor Operated Cotton ( Stalk Shredder-Mixer

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