Evaluation of Locally Fabricated Ridger Attached to Power Tiller and Mini Tiller for Bed Making and its Breakeven Analysis

Pem Lham, Zangmo, Namgay

https://doi.org/10.55925/btagr.24.7102

Growing vegetables in raised beds offers several advantages, including proper drainage, weed control, and higher yields, among others. However, Bhutanese farmers construct these beds manually due to the lack of appropriate equipment’s, which is labor-intensive and tedious. To address this issue, ridgers attached to power tillers and mini tillers were designed and evaluated. Power tiller attached ridger was tested at three forward speeds 1.1, 1.4 and 2.4km/h and mini tiller attached ridger was tested for the interaction of the same speeds and two different depths to determine the bed height, furrow width and field capacity of the machines. The result shown that power tiller ridgers showed increased capacity of 4.51 acre/day at higher speed of 2.4km/h, while mini tiller ridgers maintained a relatively constant capacity ranging from 3.44 acre/day to 3.46 acre/day at forward speed ranging from 1.1km/h to 2.4km/h. The result indicated that forward speed had a minimal effect on bed height formation. Deeper tillage resulted in higher bed heights within recommended range of 20-30cm. Furrow width slightly increased with higher speeds. Power tiller and mini tiller bed making is 55 and 38 times more efficient than manual labor, and the investment in these implements can be recovered after using them for 1.03 and 0.55 acres, respectively, indicating their economic viability. Incorporating ridgers into vegetable cultivation practices has the potential to improve productivity and alleviate the burden on farmers in Bhutan.

Keywords: Raised bed; Machine capacity; Break even use; Forward speed