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Simulation of the Forage Harvest Cycle for Asset Allocation

Dudenhoeffer, Nathan E., Luck, Brian D., Digman, Matthew F., Drewry, Jessica L.
Applied engineering in agriculture 2018 v.34 no.2 pp. 327-334
Zea mays, agricultural engineering, assets, corn, equipment, forage, global positioning systems, harvest date, model validation, models, prediction, silage
Harvesting corn (Zea Mays) for silage requires the coordination of multiple pieces of equipment to ensure rapid and economical production of silage. A model of corn harvest for silage production, capable of predicting machine work states and total harvest time for an entire field, using a single harvester, and any number of specific transport vehicles, as a function of machine specifications and field properties was developed. Three forage harvesting systems were observed using Global Positioning System (GPS) and the collected data used for model validation. The harvest model predicted harvest times within 10% of observed data and yielded similar results to a previously published cycle analysis. Model scenarios were used to explore the effect of differently sized transport vehicles on harvest time and it was found that placing transport vehicles with longer cycle times at the end of the rotation has the potential to reduce harvest time. This model can be used to determine the optimal number of transport vehicles and their dispatch order to reduce total harvest time.