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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Combine Fan Speed and Ground Speed Effects on Cane Quality, Yield, Losses, and Economic Returns

Authors
item Viator, Ryan
item Richard Jr, Edward
item Viator, Blaine - CALVIN VIATOR & ASSOC.
item Jackson, Windell - ASCL
item Waguespack, Herman - ASCL
item Birkett, Harold - LSU AG CTR, AUDUBON SUGAR

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2004
Publication Date: June 16, 2004
Citation: Viator, R.P., Richard Jr, E.P., Viator, B.J., Jackson, W., Waguespack, H., Birkett, H. 2004. Combine fan speed and ground speed effects on cane quality, yield, losses, and economic returns [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 24:125.

Technical Abstract: Cane quality is becoming more important to the Louisiana industry, with some mills offering premiums for high quality sugarcane. Operational settings on chopper harvesters are extremely important with green-cane harvesting, which is the predominant practice now in Louisiana. A split-plot experiment was harvested with main plots being ground speeds of 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 mph and subplots being fan speeds of 650, 850, and 1050 rpm. Split plots were three rows wide and 46 m long, and treatments were replicated four times in a RCBD in a field of first stubble LCP85-384. Plots were harvested using a single-row chopper harvester and weighed with a weigh wagon. At this time, randomly collected billet and post-harvest residue samples were retained for further analysis. There was no fan speed by ground speed interaction for the parameters measured in this study. The 1050 rpm fan speed increased TRS by 10% but decreased cane tonnage by 15% compared to the two lower fan speeds. Furthermore, the residue data showed a doubling of the sugar loss behind the combine with the 1050 rpm setting. Sugar yields were not statistically different for the three fan speeds. On the other hand, the highest fan speed resulted in a $240/ ha increase in net income compared to the lowest speed, when one analyzed complete harvesting and shipping cost on a per acre basis. To conclude, high quality cane, even without premium pay schedules, results in increased profits. Furthermore, producers that send high amounts of extraneous matter to the mill may increase their cane yield but not their profits.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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