Experimental tests on a new harvesting system for Burley tobacco


The globalization of the tobacco production has led to a drop in competitiveness of the Italian tobacco on the world market. Burley is the main variety of tobacco cropped in Campania region of Southern Italy. Its leaves have to be sewn, in the curing phase. Aim of this work is to show the results of the implementation of a new harvest machine prototype. Basically, the machine used for Bright tobacco, totally mechanical harvested, which doesn’t need to be sewn because it requires an indirect-fire treatment into the curing furnaces. The machine was modified in order to mechanize harvesting of Burley tobacco, and tested on four cultivars of Burley tobacco under three different planting layouts. The Burley tobacco leaves can be harvested mechanically by pulling individual leaves off the stalk; leaves are then sorted and tied in bundles prior to sewing. A mechanical burley tobacco harvesting system was evaluated. This machine consists in realizing a leaves orientation system based on the different weight between the leaf blade and the stalk enhanced by an air flow. The measurements taken were harvest timing, work capacity, and quality standards of the work carried out. The results, in terms of user time, range from 6.67 h/ha to 7.80 h/ha while in terms of operational efficiency are between 88% and 89%. The average user capacity recorded for the four cultivars is equal to 0.14 ha/h, a value far from the one recorded for the same harvesting machine used for Bright tobacco (0.25 ha/h). The harvest timing capacity, range from 0.51 t/h to 0.99 t/h. The work productivity goes from 0.17 t to 0.33 t per hour of human unit respectively. The average number of detached leaves, depending on the cultivar, has been between 523 and 744. Concerning the leaf orientation, a general percentage of 73% was achieved.


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Burley tobacco, mechanical harvesting, harvest timing.
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How to Cite
Faugno, S., Okello, C., Infascelli, R., Audino, F., Ardito, L., & Pindozzi, S. (2013). Experimental tests on a new harvesting system for Burley tobacco. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(2s). https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2013.314