Design and preliminary evaluation of an onion harvester hand tractor implement
Onions are manually harvested in the Philippines due to the unavailability of mechanical harvesters that are adaptable to local field conditions. Further, imported onion harvester is not only expensive, but it is beyond the reach of local farmers. Hence, this study design and preliminary evaluation of onion harvester hand tractor implement conceptualized to adapt the local field conditions and increase profitability in onion production. The design combines digging, cleaning, and collecting onion bulbs simultaneously in one operation. The main assemblies of the implement include the frame, digger blade, soil-onion separation device, power transmission, and discharge cart. The implement has a total weight of 68 kg; an overall dimension of 1 230 mm x 570 mm x 500 mm (l x w x h); and a power requirement of 2.08 hp. The machine was fabricated by a local manufacturer using available standard materials. The treatments were the rotary speed of the soil-onion separation device; 100 rpm, 208 rpm, and 333 rpm. The data were analyzed using Completely Randomized Design (CRD) and Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference (THSD) to further test the level of significance. Results revealed that the actual field capacity, harvesting capacity, harvesting efficiency were 0.027 ha/hr, 299.05kg/hr, and 70.93%, respectively. Hence, this study paved a way for mechanizing onion harvesting at a lower cost and further use of the machine to other root crops can be explored.