"CEO of Jaisaben Enterprises (www.jaisaben.com), Mr James, today announced the successful completion of trials of a new yield monitor for sugar cane harvesters.
"Today marks the completion of proof of concept trials of an exciting new ultra-accurate harvest yield monitor for the Australian sugar industry", he said.
Whilst Mr James wouldn't be drawn on the exact design of the yield monitor, he did say it offered significant benefits.
"Our design is showing accuracy of plus or minus 5% on a row on row basis, even with very limited calibration. As we develop algorithms further, I wouldn't be surprised if that accuracy approaches 1%", he said.
Previous systems have not shown such inherent accuracy, and I think that is because they have either relied upon chopper pressure or measurement of the thickness of material travelling through the feed rollers of the harvester.
"The reason these approaches fail is not immediately obvious unless you realise that the force required to chop a stick of cane varies immensely between varieties, billet diameter and the configuration of the feedtrain.
"Furthermore, the packed density of sticks of cane is exponentially proportional to the diameter of those sticks - if you double the diameter of a stick of cane, you quadruple its volume.
"Any design that seeks to measure cane yield needs to take those factors into account, and I don't believe any of the other designs I've seen do.
Mr James thanked his commercial partner, AgGuide Pty Ltd for funding the research. "AgGuide Pty Ltd is an Australian company with a great depth of knowledge and expertise, and I think it is self evident that the Australian Sugar industry is already seeing great benefits from their involvement in R&D.
"I became very impressed with AgGuide when I saw their commitment to R&D in the Australian Sugar Industry in practice last year, when they designed and built a harvest monitoring (black box) data logging solution for the Herbert industry from the ground up (learn more HERE), and I'm very glad to be working alongside such a progressive company.
"I'd also like to thank the industry participants who helped immensely during these initial trials - without the amazing help of these individuals, we just wouldn't be able to develop such a system. Pino Lenso (Herbert Harvester) and David Cecchi (Innisfail Harvester) provided their time freely to help conduct these trials, Lawrence Dibella and Adam Royle from the BSES provided technical assistance and advice, and Mike Sefton (Herbert Productivity Board) helped a great deal with GIS interpretation of the data", said Mr James
So - what's next for the AgGuide Yield Monitor?
"I can't speak directly for AgGuide, but I believe they are going to offer the yield monitor as a discounted bolt-in add-on for those operators throughout the state who already have an AgGude harvest monitoring system fitted. It will also be available to other operators as a separate purchase.
"During this off-season Jaisaben Enterprises will be working with AgGuide to perfect the system and develop an operator interface which, as well as yield, will provide other useful information in real time such as pour rate, ground speed and approximate harvesting costs.
"More than likely we'll also be adding the ability to 'automatically ticket' cane, and developing a web interface so that growers or harvesters can download yield maps as the cane is cut.
"I'm really excited about the potential positive impact of this research upon the industry - I think along with AgGuide's suite of precision agriculture and GPS guidance equipment, we're going to see a 'one-stop-shop' for growers and harvesters interested in Precision Agriculture and Controlled Traffic.", said Mr James
Anyone wishing to learn more about the yield monitor should contact either Mr John Chalmers (CEO, AgGuide Pty Limited) on +61 7 3279 4344, or the author (Director, Jaisaben Enterprises) on +61 404 087 477.