Effects of Rotary Tine Tool Velocity on Soil Reaction Forces, Power, and Energy Intensity

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© 2023 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Steward, Brian
Tekeste, Mehari
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Studying soil-tool interaction can provide valuable information on the actuation force and energy requirements of a weeding tool operating in soil. Soil-tine interaction was investigated for a vertical rotary tine tool that was intended to be used as a weeding tool for an automated mechanical intra-row weeder. The main objective of the research was to investigate the effects of linear and rotational velocities on soil reaction forces and power associated with actuation of the rotary tine tool in soil. A series of soil bin experiments were conducted in loam soil. Soil horizontal (draft) force and torque on the tool were measured at three longitudinal/travel velocities of 0.09 m s-1, 0.29 m s-1, and 0.5 m s-1 that were used to move the tool linearly across the soil bin length. The speed ratio, defined as the ratio of the longitudinal velocity to the peripheral velocity of the rotary tines, determined the rotational speeds required for the study. The draft force and torque were evaluated at four speed ratio levels (0, 1, 1.5, and 2). An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) performed for statistical analysis using p < 0.05 showed that both longitudinal velocity and speed ratio had significant main and interaction effects on the draft force and torque. In most cases, the draft force decreased while torque increased with increasing speed ratios for the different longitudinal velocities used in the study. Power and energy intensity were also calculated using draft force and torque measurements for different experimental settings. For increases in speed ratios, the power requirements for tool draft force decreased, whereas the power requirements for rotating the tool increased for each longitudinal velocity. At the highest test travel speed of 0.5 m s-1, the power decreased from 66 W to 28 W for draft and increased from 0 W to 76 W for rotation of the tool at increasing speed ratios. The maximum total power calculated for the tool was 110 W at 0.5 m s-1 and a speed ratio of 2. The study shows the changes in power and energy requirements of a vertical rotary tine tool for different operating parameters for weed control. This information could be valuable for optimizing the physical weeding process.
This article is published as Kshetri, Safal, Brian L. Steward, and Mehari Z. Tekeste. "Effects of Rotary Tine Tool Velocity on Soil Reaction Forces, Power, and Energy Intensity." Journal of the ASABE 66 (2023): 897-907. doi:10.13031/ja.15377. Posted with permission.