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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


EL PEBRIAN, Darius  and  YAHYA, Azmi. New mechanized system for circle spraying of oil palms seedling emergence. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2012, vol.69, n.2, pp.95-102. ISSN 1678-992X.

A new machine system has been designed, developed and evaluated for extensive circle spraying of oil palms (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) in an effort to overcome the inefficient spraying problem with the conventional spraying system. The machine system consists of a four-wheeled drive 4WD prime mover with front mounted machine attachments for the circle spraying operation. The configuration of the circle spraying attachment consists of a hexagonal curved spray boom, lifting arm, opening-tilting mechanism unit, storage tank, spray pump, solid cone nozzles, and associate hydraulic system. Field performance tests on the machine system showed an average effective field capacity of 7.89 ha per man per day and when compared to the earlier reported effective field capacity of the walking spray-operated equipment using Serena LT16 knapsack sprayer; a difference of 1.97 time for circle spraying of mature palms grove. Reduction in the human energy expenditure of 101.28 kJ man-1 h-1 or 10.68 % but an increase in the spraying cost of 1.53 USD ha-1 or 24.9 % were obtained with the machine system against the walking spraying-operated equipment using Serena LT16 knapsack sprayer. Justification for machine system to be cost effective could be satisfied if the present effective field capacity is increased to 1.263 time with good skilled operator or if the current R&D cost is reduced to 0.41 time. This is because the improved field capacity of new machine system could not rationalize its current R&D cost. Admittedly, the machine system has great potential to overcome the limitations with the current employed machine/equipment in the circle spraying operation of oil palms in the plantation.

Keywords : chemical spraying; oil palm cultivation; agricultural machinery; mechanization.

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