Precision Agriculture, 1, 301᎐317 1999
ᮊ 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
A Load Cell Based Yield Monitor for Peanut
J. S. DURRENCE,
T. K. HAMRITA
AND G. VELLIDIS
ersity of Georgia, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Athens, Georgia, USA
Abstract. A prototype peanut yield monitoring system based on load cell transducers was evaluated for
use in precision farming applications. Noise characteristics under simulated field conditions were
examined, and the effect of mixing within the peanut combine during harvest was also investigated.
Evaluation results showed that the system has potential for providing limited quality site-specific yield
measurements for yield mapping applications.
Keywords: Yield monitoring, peanut, load cells
Precision farming describes the process of measuring and mapping land and crop
characteristics and using these measurements to develop intelligent application and
management strategies to improve overall farm production. Yield monitoring is the
phase of precision farming in which the crop yield variation within a field is
measured, spatially referenced and mapped. Historical yield data can be used to
determine the needed inputs as functions of location in the field, whereas post-
harvest yield maps can be used to evaluate implemented methods and make
adjustments for the next growing season.
Grain yield monitors are available from several manufacturers
; however, there
are few monitors available for other crops. One of the obvious reasons for this is
the absence of a reliable sensor for measuring yield of these crops. Grain yield
monitors feature a sensor positioned at a point in the combine where all of the
crop passes. The yield sensor measures either the mass or volume flow of the grain.
Harvesting equipment for nongrain crops often lack a convenient location to install
a sensor similar to grain sensors. Other factors that contribute to the absence of
alternative crop yield monitors include large variation in crop size or shape and
harsh conditions within combines. One proposed solution for this problem is to use
load cells to weigh the collected crop during harvest Rawlins et al., 1995; Wagner
and Schrock, 1989 . Excessive noise and inadequate sensitivity have thus far
prevented realization of this technique.
* Research Engineer, Tifton Campus
Assistant Professor, Athens Campus
Associate Professor, Tifton Campus