Development of a corn stover yield monitor

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Manternach, Byron
Major Professor
Stuart J. Birrell
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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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This research developed a sensor to measure the mass flow of corn stover through a combine and determine what harvest parameters affected the response of the sensor. A sensor was developed by installing a curved plate behind the rotor discharge beater of the combine to intersect the flow path of the stover leaving the rotor discharge beater. The plate was instrumented with load cells to measure the impact force of the corn stover on the impact plate. Instrumentation methods for the impact plate were evaluated to determine the most effective method to instrument the impact plate to measure the impact force of the stover.

Field testing was conducted to examine the effects of stover mass flow rate, stover moisture, and plant cut height on the sensor response. Single parameter regression models were created using the horizontal and magnitude force components of the load cells to predict mass flow through the combine. The horizontal and magnitude force prediction models had adjusted R2 values of 0.324 and 0.599 respectively. Including the stover moisture to the prediction models using horizontal force and magnitude force increased the correlation of the adjusted R of the prediction models to 0.709 and 0.785 respectively. A multi parameter regression model containing the magnitude of the load cells forces, stover moisture, chopper speed, and interactions between stover moisture and chopper speed and chopper speed and the magnitude of forces produced the best correlation (adjusted R2=0.909). The results of this research suggest that this type of sensor is effective at predicting the mass flow rate of stover through a combine.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013