Attribute Based Coding, Review and Gap Analysis of Cotton Harvesting Processes and Machines
Keywords:Cotton Harvester, Crop Parameters, Machine Parameters, Attributes Coding
Mechanical cotton harvesters, i.e. strippers and pickers are commercially available, but these cannot be used for cotton harvesting from varieties presently grown in India due to design constraints and agronomic practices. Higher initial cost and field capacity make cotton harvesters unsuitable and unaffordable for small and medium farms. Hence, a comprehensive review of cotton harvesting mechanisms developed till date was carried out. Different attributes relating to problem have been expressed in matrix form to identify of crop and machine parameters which could be utilized by Researchers, Engineers and Manufacturers for development and refinement of mechanical cotton harvesters for small and medium farms. The matrix depicts on academic work of each paper and each attribute. Coding/grading of these attributes was done according to their importance in the research publications. Summation of coded attributes has been done publication-wise as well as category-wise so that the value of each attribute and each publication gets identified for the development of a need based mechanical cotton harvester. For publication-wise attribute coding, a total of 19 publications with 21 attributes were reviewed and related with the mechanical cotton harvesters. A publication with all the 21 selected attributes had been discussed in detail and was assigned a score of 105. Under the category-wise attribute coding, attributes such as crop variety, yield, row spacing, plant height and plant population were considered and assigned grade more than 20 as most of the authors discussed these attributes in their studies. Other parameters like limb length, plant canopy (spread width) along and across the rows, height of lower and upper boll were accorded less importance as their grade was less than 10 out of a total 95 score. Defoliant attributes were discussed in 14 out of 19 papers reviewed and had 28 grade points as compared to desiccant, which was discussed in only 2 papers and assigned a grade of 5 only. Under the machine parameters, type of mechanism was assigned a grade point i.e. 66 as mechanical harvester performance was mainly dependent on this attribute. So far, as the performance of harvester was concerned, various parameters like picking efficiency, trash content, lint turnout and losses were discussed in different studies.