Manual sugarcane harvesting system vs. mechanical harvesting system in Thailand
The advantages and disadvantages of manual harvesting and mechanical harvesting of sugar cane in Thailand are compared. Manual harvesting remains popular due to its low cost, low soil compaction, and low damage to cane roots and the subsequent ratoon crop. There are only 250 chopper harvesters in Thailand, mostly for use in relatively large cane fields. The existing harvesting equipment does not suit Thai farming practice as the required high field efficiency cannot be reached on most farms (maximum field lengths of 200 to 300 m). A small- to medium-sized harvesting machine would seem more suitable for Thai cane conditions, but farmers have not adopted the technology due to various problems. It is recommended that future research on small- and medium-sized harvesters should prioritize: appropriate power selection; de-trashing capacity; and, stalk transportation and handling. From authors' summary.
In Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America (Japan), v. 35(1), special issue, p. 33-36