Journal ID : AMA-22-12-2021-10976
[This article belongs to Volume - 53, Issue - 01]
Total View : 446

Title : Field investigation of the tillage and straw cutting performance of a bionic coulter for conservation farming

Abstract :

The working efficiency of disc coulters used for conservation tillage in intensive rice-based farming systems is inhibited by the degraded paddy soils and excessive crop residue conditions. Conventional coulters often experience high working resistance and low straw-cutting efficiency. By embracing bionic designs, the efficacy of coulters can be improved. This study was designed to investigate the working performance of a bionic disc coulter developed by modifying a conventional disc to simulate the arc-shaped profile of the mole rat’s (Scaptochirus moschatus) claw. Field experiments were conducted to evaluate the bionic disc’s tillage resistance forces, straw cutting efficiency, and soil disturbance effects; in comparison to a conventional notched coulter at three tillage depths (i.e., 40, 70, and 100 mm). The study revealed that the bionic disc minimized draft forces by up to 45.24% and vertical resistance forces by up to 23.57%. Meanwhile, the furrow-width disturbances were minimized by up to 31.98% and straw cutting efficiency improved by up to 12.08%. These outcomes demonstrated that the bionic coulter is energy-efficient and well-suited to rehabilitate degraded soils with minimal disturbance, besides managing the excessive crop residues in intensive rice-based farming systems. These advantages would help improve seeding performance in the presence of crop residue cover, create favorable plant growth conditions, and facilitate the smooth flow of field operations. Bionic design of soil-engaging tools therefore improves the working performance of coulters and advances the implementation of conservation farming in intensive farming systems.

Full article