Sensor integration on a single head wild blueberry harvester for crop characteristics and topographic features mapping to improve crop productivity

Authors: Farooque, A, Q Uz Zaman, D Groulx, Yk Chang, A Schumann
Description: Ground sensing technologies coupled with a differential global positioning system -DGPS- are able to deliver data of high spatial resolution that can be integrated with material delivery systems to facilitate real-time applications. Site-specific crop management can improve profitability and environmental protection of wild blueberry having large spatial variation in soil/plant characteristics, topographic features which may affect fruit yield. The objective of this study was to develop an integrated automated sensing system including ultrasonic sensor, digital color camera, slope sensor, RTK-GPS, custom software and laptop computer. The system was incorporated into a blueberry harvester to map plant height, slope, elevation and fruit yield simultaneously. The information obtained from the system will be used to identify factors causing crop performance decline in variable wild blueberry fields and to develop site-specific management zones based on easily measured field parameters for variable rate fertilization. Two commercial wild blueberry fields were surveyed in Central Nova Scotia to evaluate the performance of the system. Preliminary results indicated information obtained from the system could be used to implement site-specific management practices within the blueberry fields to optimize productivity while minimizing the environmental impact of farming operations.
Keywords: dgps, sensor fusion, slope, ultrasonic sensors, yield, wild blueberry.
Session name: Machinery
Date: 2012
Identifier: CSBE12104
Coverage: Canada

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