Sponsor Agency: USDA NIFA (BRDI)
Zhang*, Q; Karkee, M. (WSU Team)
In this project, we are undertaking tasks of improving harvesting mechanisms for effective and efficient harvesting of tropical crops for biomass. The target crops are sugar cane, energy cane, and Bana grass. We have been performing laboratory simulation studies to identify limitations of current cutting mechanism. At the same time, we carried out field evaluation of existing machine to collect baseline machine performance data in Hawaii sugarcane, Bana grass and energy cane fields. Based on the knowledge acquired from the field and lab tests, we will improve and optimize cutting and feeding mechanism for tropical biomass harvesting. Improved mechanisms will be evaluated in the field in Hawaii.