Microcontroller-based Low-cost Seed Metering Module Retrofit on Cultivator

Kushwaha, H L; Gautam, Prem Veer; Kumar, Adarsh ; Khura, T K; Sarkar, S K

Abstract

Planting is one of critical operations in agriculture. Ground wheel drives conventional metering mechanism, and results in improper placement of seeds because of skidding and vibration of the ground wheel. Electronically equipped seed metering system in the planter have potential to reduces losses associated with friction and wheel slippage. In this study, a retrofit type microcontroller based low-cost seed metering module was developed for commonly available cultivator. Basically, it can be called as mechatronics due to combination of both electronics and mechanical components. Seed metering plate’scell size was designed based on physical properties of black and green gram seeds. The microcontroller controlled motor's speed through Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) based on a signal obtained from a rotary encoder mounted on ground wheel. Under laboratory test, the developed module with a cell size of 5.5 mm found highest quality of feed index of 90 % for green gram and 86 % for black gram when operated at speed of 1.56 km/h. Average plant to plant distance was observed to be 6.73 cm, 6.55 cm for green and black gram during field evaluation. These observed spacing were close to desired spacing (6.28 cm) which intended in the precision metering mechanism. A unit's cost is approximately INR 2000. It facilitates sowing of pulse crop’s seeds without investing extra cost on purchasing separate planter required for it. This retrofit type proposed module will make cultivator as a precision planter suitable for sowing different crops at a very low cost.

Keyword(s)

Electronics, Mechatronics, Microcontroller, Precision planter, Rotary encoder Retrofit, Seed metering module

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