DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF WALK-BEHIND GRANULAR FERTILIZER APPLICATOR FOR PRECISE FERTILIZER APPLICATION
Keywords:broadcasting, fertilizer applicator, fertilizer use efficiency, effective field capacity, field efficiency
The balanced use of fertilizer play vital role to maintain required nutrients level in the plants for their better growth. Currently, most of the fertilizer addition is carried out using manual broadcasting that reduces the fertilizer use efficiency due to non-uniform fertilizer distribution. Moreover, the excessive use of fertilizer not only results fertilizer wastage but also affect output quality of produce along with environmental pollution. Thus, in order to address these serious concerns and to increase fertilizer use efficiency, this research study was carried out for the development and testing of walk behind granular fertilizer applicator. The development of the applicator was carried out using locally available materials to reduce its capital cost. The performance evaluation of fertilizer applicator was carried out under laboratory and actual field conditions to determine various parameters like application rate, fertilizer missing index, fertilizer droppage rate, wheel slippage and field efficiency. The results showed that the average fertilizer rate for maize and cotton crop was found to be 69.17 and 157.05 kg/ha respectively. The fertilizer missing index was found to be zero. The average theoretical and effective field capacity was found to be 0.245 and 0.197 ha/h respectively with an average field efficiency of 81.52%. The average wheel slippage was calculated to be 8.78%.
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