Submitted to: American Peanut Research and Education Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2005
Publication Date: February 1, 2006
Citation: Butts, C.L., Faircloth, W.H., Nuti, R.C., Rowland, D., Lamb, M.C., Guerke, W.R. 2006. The effect of bulk handling on peanut seed quality. American Peanut Research and Education Society Abstracts. Interpretive Summary: None required.
Technical Abstract: Planting field crops requires both skilled and unskilled labor. Loading seed hoppers on the planter is very labor intensive. A seeding rate of 112 kg/ha requires 11.2 t of peanut seed per 100 ha planted. Bulk seed tenders have been used in the midwestern United States to plant corn, soybean, and small grains for quite some time. They eliminate the need for strenuous physical labor, reduce driver fatigue, and reduce the time required for loading seed hoppers. Bulk handling systems have not been used for peanut due to the seed’s fragile nature and fear of excessive mechanical damage. Tests were conducted to measure the mechanical damage to peanut seed due to handling in bags, a belt-type bulk seed tender, and a pneumatic bulk seed tender. Twenty 23-kg bags of treated Georgia Green peanut seed were obtained. Each bag was opened and divided into two 11.4-kg samples. A 500-g subsample was retained to determine initial levels of mechanical damage. After all peanut seed were divided and loaded into the bulk seed tenders, each tender was operated and approximately 11.4 kg of peanut seed were loaded into a plastic bucket to simulate loading a seed hopper on a planter. Total weight of peanut seed and the time required to transfer the seed from the bin to the bucket were recorded. Mass flow rate was controlled by opening and closing the gates on the feed hopper. A 500-g subsample was retained from each 11-kg sample for analysis. Tests were repeated until all peanut seed had been emptied from the bulk seed bin. Split/broken seed were hand sorted from each of the 500-g subsamples and weighed. The 500-g samples were subjected to standard and cold seed germination tests. An additional 1000-g sample was retained from each 11-kg sample and commingled with other seed from the same handling system to form a 23-kg composite sample for planting. The 23-kg sample was planted in four replicated plots. Seedling emergence was determined periodically beginning 4 d after planting until 30 d after planting. Total damage was significantly higher in seed transferred from the bin to the planter using the bulk handling systems. Bagged seed, with no additional handling, had 0.5% total damaged seed. This was significantly lower than the 1.1% and 2.5% damaged seed using the belt and pneumatic systems, respectively. The average flow rate for the belt system was 106 kg/min compared to 72 kg/min for the pneumatic system. Germination data and plant emergence data had not been completed as of the date of abstract submission. Economic comparison of the bulk seed handling systems to conventional manual handling of bagged seed will be presented.