Development and field testing of biodegradable seedling plug-tray cutting mechanism for automated vegetable transplanter

Published: 22 March 2024
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Transplanting seedlings from plug trays into the field can cause transplant shock and lower the seedling survival rate. In order to avoid the need for a complicated clamping mechanism, this study developed a biodegradable seedling plug-tray cutting mechanism (SPCM) that separates seedlings with plug cells from plug trays. In order to cut and separate the plug cell from the plug tray and enable the seedling to fall into the transplanting hopper, the three sub-mechanisms that make up the SPCM align the plug cell at the point of seedling discharge. Approximately 82% of the plug cell was separated by the SPCM before being delivered to the planting unit. Additionally, using pepper and cabbage seedlings, the SPCM-equipped transplanter achieved a 74% transplanting performance, with an average field efficiency of 68%, a field capacity of 0.032-0.035 ha h-1, and a labor requirement that was 73% lower than that of manual seedling transplanting. The majority of pepper seedlings (85%) were transplanted with a planting angle of less than 10°, and 7% of cabbage seedlings were inclined with a planting depth of 48 mm for pepper and 53 mm for cabbage. These transplanting results were considered satisfactory. In conclusion, the SPCM represents a step toward effective and sustainable vegetable seedling transplanting. Enhancing productivity, precision in planting, and sustainability offer stimulating prospects for additional study and advancement in the area.

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How to Cite

Paudel, B., Basak, J. K., Jeon, S. W., Deb, N. C., Karki, S. and Kim, H. T. (2024) “Development and field testing of biodegradable seedling plug-tray cutting mechanism for automated vegetable transplanter”, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 55(2). doi: 10.4081/jae.2024.1566.