Location: Soil Dynamics ResearchTitle: Performance of a no-till vegetable transplanter for transplanting thai round eggplant (solanum melongena l.) in conservation agriculture
|HIN, LYHOUR - Royal University Of Agriculture|
|BUNTONG, BORARIN - Royal University Of Agriculture|
|REYES, MANUEL - Kansas State University|
|HOK, LYDA - Royal University Of Agriculture|
|LOR, LYTOUR - Royal University Of Agriculture|
|CLEMMONS, HORACE - Non ARS Employee|
Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/14/2020
Publication Date: 12/9/2020
Citation: Hin, L., Buntong, B., Reyes, M.R., Hok, L., Lor, L., Clemmons, H., Kornecki, T.S. 2020. Performance of a no-till vegetable transplanter for transplanting thai round eggplant (solanum melongena l.) in conservation agriculture. Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering. B9(2020):236-247. https://doi.org/10.17265/2162-5263/2020.06.002.
Interpretive Summary: The performance evaluation of the no-till vegetable transplanter mounted on the Oggun Tractor was performed by planting Thai round eggplant in conservation agriculture (CA) that used sunn hemp as a cover crop, in comparison with the punch-planter in CA and hand transplanting in conventional tillage (CT). The results indicate that the use of transplanter affected operational speed, number of plants per minute, working capacity, when compared with other treatments, as its performance was much faster, saving both time and labor. However, the seedlings planted by the no-till transplanter were slightly tilted. Plant spacing, plant density, fruit weight, number of fruits per plant, were not affected using the transplanter. Transplanting either in CA or in CT, the growth and yield were not different with suitable irrigation. However, in the short term, CA did not show any soil improvements, as these changes need time. For profitability, the Oggun-mounted transplanter should be used to cover a farm area of 18.3 ha y-1, while its maximum working area is only 25.2 ha y-1. Therefore, increasing planting seasons or providing planting service should be considered before deciding to purchase the transplanter.
Technical Abstract: Vegetables are vital for human health and are consumed five days a week in Cambodia. However, the production cannot meet domestic demands due to labor-intensive farming and production costs related to soil tillage. Mechanization is needed along with soil quality and sustainability improvements by the adoption of CA (Conservation Agriculture). The research aimed to compare the performance of the no-till vegetable transplanter with punch-planter in CA and hand transplanting in CT (Conventional Tillage). The study was conducted at the Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia, starting from January to September 2020, by firstly growing sunn hemp as a cover crop and then transplanting Thai round eggplant. A randomized complete block design was used with three treatments, replicated three times. Each plot was 2 m by 15 m, with 0.2-m row spacing. The results showed that the transplanter speed was 0.54 km h-1, almost two times the speed of punch planter and 9 times the speed of hand transplanting. The highest working capacity was also achieved with the transplanter. However, different transplanting did not affect plant spacing, or plant density. Plant spacing was 1 m, and plant density varied from 10,300 to 11,500 plants ha-1. Plant growth and yield were also not influenced by the transplanter in CA, or hand transplanting in CT. Average fruit diameter, fruit weight, fruit number, and yield were 38 mm, 31.4g fruit-1, 15.7 fruits plant-1 and 3.9 t ha-1, respectively. The maximum working area of the transplanter and its break-even area were 25.2 ha y-1 and 18.3 ha y-1, respectively. Using the no-till transplanter may save both time and labor, but its use in combination with CA was unlikely to affect plant growth and yield in the short term.