AUTOMATIC TRANSPLANTER FOR CROPS AND TREES

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$195,000.00
Award Year:
1991
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
14093
Agency Tracking Number:
14093
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
8715 N W 4th Place, Gainesville, FL, 32607
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Lawrence N Shaw
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A HIGH SPEED PLANT SETTING MECHANISM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED AND FIELD TESTED. THIS PATENTED TRANSPLANTING MECHANISM HAS CONSISTENTLY SET PLANTS INTO FIELD SOIL AT A RATE OF OVER 2.6 PLANTS PER SECOND. THIS RATE IS MUCH TOO FAST FOR MANUAL FEEDING SO THE OPERATION OF REMOVING MODULAR SEEDLINGPLANTS FROM THE GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION TRAYS MUST BE FULLY AUTOMATED TO SUPPLY THE PLANT SETTING MECHANISM. SINCE THE PLANT SETTING MECHANISM RECEIVES THE INDIVIDUAL SEEDLINGS INA HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION, THE PLANTS CAN BE REMOVED FROM THEGREENHOUSE TRAYS HORIZONTALLY AND DELIVERED TO THE PLANT SETTING MECHANISM ON A HORIZONTAL CONVEYOR. IF THE TRAYS ARE INTRODUCED INTO THE PLANT FEEDING MECHANISM VERTICALLY, ROWS OF PLANTS CAN BE PUSHED OR PULLED DIRECTLY ONTO THE FEED CONVEYOR. THE TRAY IS MOVED ALONG THE FEED CONVEYOR DURING TRANSFER OF THE SEEDLINGS. AFTER THE TRANSFER IS MADE THE TRAY IS INDEXED DOWNWARD AND MOVED BACK TO TRANSFERANOTHER ROW OF PLANTS INTO COMPARTMENTS ON THE FEED CONVEYOR. THIS PLANT FEEDING MECHANISM SHOULD BE ADAPTABLE TO MANY SIZES OF GREENHOUS GROWING TRAYS. SINCE THIS PLANT SETTING MECHANISM IS AT LEAST FOUR TIMES AS FAST AS CONVENTIONAL TRANSPLANTERS, CROP AND TREE PLANTING WILL BE FASTER AND LOWER IN COST. THERE ARE AN ESTIMATE THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED FOUR TO SEVEN BILLION CROP AND TREE SEEDLINGS PLANTED ANNUALLY IN NORTH AMERICA. GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION OF SEEDLINGS HAS BEEN LARGELY AUTOMATED AND MORE AND MORE ARE BEING PRODUCED IN THE MODULAR GROWING TRAYS BECAUSE OF THE HIGHER QUALITY AND BETTER SURVIVAL AFTER FIELD SETTING. FIELD TRANSPLANTING IS STILL A VERY LABOR INTENSIVE AND TEDIOUS OPERATION. THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ECONOMIC, RAPID TRANSPLANTING MACHINE COULD BROADEN THE USE OF TRANSPLANTING ALLOWING LONG SEASON CROPS TO BE GROWN IN AREAS WITH SHORT GROWING SEASONS AND BRINGING CROPS TO EARLIER MATURITY WHEN PRICES ARE USUALLY BETTER FOR FARMERS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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