Journal of Agricultural Machinery (2015-03-01)

Mapping Alfalfa Yield Using an Energy Monitoring System on a Rectangular Hay Baler

  • H Hooshmand,
  • M Loghavi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 1
pp. 199 – 205


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The most advanced part of precision agriculture technology is yield monitoring of grain and non-grain crops. In this study, the horizontal pressing force of baling plunger and the angular position of the plunger connecting rod were simultaneously measured by installing a load cell and a shaft encoder on the connecting rod and plunger flywheel of a small rectangular baler, respectively. The signals of these sensors were processed in an electronic board and the output data were recorded on a portable computer for monitoring and further analysis. Before baling the harvested alfalfa from the test field, random samples were collected and weighted to obtain a referenced measure of the yield variation along the entire field. Comparing the yield data with the pressing energy and angular position data indicated a good correlation between the throughput rate of the baler and the horizontal force imparted on the baler plunger. The estimated crop yield variations were geo-referenced by using a GPS receiver. By combining the output data of the installed sensors and the positioning data, the yield map of the test field was prepared.