Mechanical rice production
Growing rice is an intensive business. But in China where it is the primary food crop, mechanisation has not reached maturity, although it is as high as 90 per cent in some provinces. Writing in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management, researchers have looked at the fuel consumption index and the working efficiency index as the main basis for a rice transfer machine.
Xin Yang and Zhenxiang Zeng of the School of Economics and Management, Hebei University of Technology, Jinyu Wei of the School of Management, at Tianjin University of Technology, and Xinjiang Cai of Yanshan University, explain how they have determined the best model for an optimal working ratio and efficiency, which not only satisfies the requirements of a short payback period on investment but also gives the operator long service life of the equipment.
The team explains that in most areas of China, manual handling is still the main way in which harvested rice is taken from field to transportation. Of course, given that rice grows in wet land, those fields are still wet, muddy after the harvest and manual handling is slow, inefficient, and uncomfortable for the handlers. "This problem cannot be ignored, because the traditional way has become the bottleneck of the realisation of full mechanisation of the rice farming," the team explains. The insights gained from the team's analysis of mechanical picking could ultimately boost the amount of mechanization in other provinces allowing rice farming to become more efficient as the population continues to grow.