Electronic Seed Tube Blockage Detector and Remover

Topics: Incandescent light bulb, Seed drill, Agricultural machinery Pages: 16 (2113 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Journal of Agricultural Engineering, Vol. 40(2): 13-20: April-June, 2003

Electronic Seed Tube Blockage Detector for Tractor
Drawn Seed Drill
AK Rail, K Sivadasan 2 and SN Murty3
Tractor driven seed drills are extensively used for sowing seeds. Choking of lower end of tubes in seed drills is a comJIlon problem while sowing. To detect the choking of tubes/ channels instantaneously, a multichannel electronic seed tube blockage detector for tractor drawn seeddrills (ESTBDTDS) has been designed and developed. The Opto-electronic transducers, Fitted at the lower end of the seed drill channels near furrow opener, Monitor the path and give audio visual signals to the tractor driver when anyone or more channels get choked during sowing. The signal permits the driver to stop the tractor for corrective action. The electronic seed tube blockage detector for tractor drawn seeddrill has been successfully field tried and found satisfactory.

rop sowing refers to placement of seeds
in the soil under optimum condition and
as per required seed rate. The primary
functions of any planting operation are to
establish an optimum plant population and
spacing in the soil. The function of a welldesigned seed drill is to place the seed in the acceptable pattern, accurately and uniformly
at the desired depth in the field, cover the
seed and compact the soil. The amount of
seeds to be sown per unit area varies from
crop to crop. To get high yield, seeds should
be placed in soil at predetermined depth and
spacing, depending upon crops. In
mechanized farming, tractor driven seed drills
are used for sowing. Seed drill provides proper
seed rate, uniform distribution and correct
placement of seed resulting in less seed


requirement and optimum plant population
i.e. finally higher yield. The choking oflower
end of seed drill channel takes place quite
often in sowing operations, resulting in
stoppage of sowing in respecti~e channel.
Choking of seed drill results omission of
seeding in certain rows of sowing which mars
uniform distribution of seeds in the field and
thus reduces the yield. Therefore, presently
continuous manual monitoring of the status
of the channel is being done in sowing
operation as there \S no device to substitute
the manual observation for the purpose. This
has necessitated the design and development
of a multicannel electronic seed tube blockage
detector for tractor drawn seed drill
(ESTBDTDS) to meet the above said

I Asstt Professor (SO), 2 Ex. Scientist, 3 Director Instrumentation & Project Coordinator (ALFA), Applied Electronics for Farmers & Agriculturist (ALFA), Directorate of Instrumentation, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur (M.P.) - 482 004, India.

JAE: 40(2)

AK Rai, K Sivadasan and SN Murty

In the event of blockage due to tubes choking,
the light path is completely obstructed. This
results in change of LDR output to many
folds. Generally in seed drills, the size of the
tube above the furrow opener is of oval shape.
Keeping this in view, the lower portion of
the sensor unit is designed as oval, so that
this part of sensor unit can be easily inserted
and tightly fitted in the oval shape of seed
drill. The lower end of the sensor unit (i.e.
below LDR and incandescent lamp) is
inserted in the furrow opener of the seed


The ESTBDTDS consisted of a small
incandescent lamp cum LDR (Light
Dependent Register) arrangement for
detecting blockage of tubes, LDR acts as a
transducer and is fitted just above the furrow
opener and opposite to each other on the
two sides of the sensor tube as depicted in
Fig. 1. The alignment of the incandescent
lamp cum LDR is done in such a way that
the visible radiation coming from the
incandescent lamp falls directly on the LDR.


~_ 20 mm.








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