Quality monitoring of billets distribution in mechanised sugarcane planting
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The mechanised farming operations, especially sugarcane mechanised planting, have diverse sources of variation that may harm the agronomic performance of the crop and destabilise the process, causing failure to meet operational goals. Accordingly, this study aimed to assess the quality of sugarcane mechanised planting in two operating shifts, on the left and right furrows, using statistical quality control tools. Mechanised planting was conducted in a farming area in the municipality of Monte Alto, São Paulo (SP), Brazil. The statistical design used was completely randomised, with plots subdivided in space, wherein 80 sampling points (replicates) were recorded during the day and night shifts, divided into 40 replicates on the left furrow and 40 replicates on the right furrow. The quality variables and/or indicators assessed regarding the performance of the mechanised set were the number of billets m-1, total number of shoots m-1, number of viable shoots m-1, percentage of viable shoots, and billets consumption (Mg ha-1), for both furrows and operating shifts. The combined use of run charts and control charts has become essential to monitor the mechanised planting process more stringently, leading to greater reliability in decision-making and thereby improving future operations. The operation quality of mechanised sugarcane planting is affected by day and night shifts and is lower during the night period for all quality indicators, especially the left furrow.