In Field Dehusker
Jump to Related posts
This in-field dehusker is used in tandem with the Drone Harvester. The first version was built last year. This year (2016) it was moved to the front of the tractor where it is more convenient to access and it now runs on 240VAC provided by an on board generator.
A bridge-proof hopper was added so that it can be left to process a sample more or less unattended, which in turn means the next sample can be collected while the previous one is being processed automatically.
(Yes, the belts will be covered in due course.)
Concurrent harvesting and dehusking saves time not only in the field but also in the simple logistics of handling large numbers of samples.
Trash is left in the field, further reducing the amount of material taken back to the shed.
Currently it is really aimed at dehusking samples in trial plots, but it will be gradually upgraded to automate later post-harvest processing steps (sizing, sorting, trash removal) until the output is more or less ready for immediate sale. Adding these steps will also allow more detailed tree by tree data to be collected, such as tree by tree reject analysis.
Further work will be done to automate the transfer of nuts from the drone to the dehusker which is done manually at the moment.
This year (2016) it will be used for the bulk of the main harvest to test it thoroughly before the upgrades.