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Automatic spacing-controlled movable bench system for tomato production
- Ota, Tomohiko, Iwasaki, Yasunaga, Yamane, Hiroaki, Sugeno, Wataru, Kurosaki, Hideto, Ito, Mizuho, Goto, Chisato
- Engineering in agriculture, environment and food 2016 v.9 no.2 pp. 179-186
- crop production, developmental stages, engineering, models, planting, tomatoes
- We developed a prototypic automatic spacing-controlled movable bench system for high-density planting of tomato third-truss pinching cultivation. The bench spacing can be changed to 600, 1000, or 1400 mm according to the growth stage. Cultivation experiments using a manufactured experimental model of the movable bench system gave yields of 9.7–12.4 kg/m2 over 4 months' cultivation without the need for a secondary nursery system. The yield of the experimental model was higher than that of conventional cultivation systems or other cultivation systems developed for tomato low-node cultivation. Bench spacing was controlled automatically by motors and a programmable logic controller. Multiple benches could be moved together automatically to clear a work path or change use modes; manual operation took much more time. During movement on the system's rails, acceleration in the vertical direction, the direction of travel, and the longitudinal direction was less than 1.0 m/s2.