BASAL CUT QUALITY IN SUGARCANE PLANTS USING THREE KNIFE MODELS
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Sugarcane mechanized harvesting is a growing and irreversible trend towards sugarcane industry because of the increased workability during night and day shifts besides requirements of environmental and labor laws related to this operation. However, a major challenge is to improve basal cutting mechanism, since it may increase sugarcane stool damages and jolts combined with knife wear. Given the above, we aimed to evaluate basal cut quality through damage and jolt indexes in sugarcane stool, as well as wear of three knife models that are used in basal cut mechanism along run time. The experimental design was completely randomized, using three sample meshes with spacing of 50.0 x 1.50 m for each knife type at different plots over the same field stand with replications. We assessed weight loss, wear length, width and thickness of the cutting knives and cutting height, stool damage and jolt rates. It was found that basal cut quality is affected by knife model and run time. The knife B showed less variation and higher cut quality for damage and jolt rates in sugarcane stool.
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