The Effect of Soil Moisture and Seed Bed on Manual and Mechanical Harvest Losses in Two Varieties of Groundnuts

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Dawood Hammad, Tutu
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A study for an evaluation of groundnut harvest losses was carried out. These harvest losses were considered as a function of variety, harvesting method, bed type, soil moisture content and seasonal variation. The study was continued for two seasons and an analysis of variance was conducted for their results separately as well as combined. Two varieties of groundnuts, namely Ashford and Bar- berton were used. The varieties showed significant difference in losses at the 5% level for the two seasons. When the results were combined for the analysis of variance, the varieties showed very highly significant effect on harvest losses, while Baberton gave 18.3% mean harvest losses. Mechanical harvesting with a digger-shaker and manual harvesting were compared. The, two methods showed very small difference in percentage harvest losses and they were not significant in any of the two seasons. Five bed sizes were used in this study. They consisted of three ridges of 70, 86 and 90 cm spacing; 120 cm wide bed 80 cm spaced rows planted on the flat. The analysis of variance for the first season gave no significant difference but the general trend in losses was in an increasing order, with- the bed size increase. In the second season, the results showed significant difference at the 5% level. Percentage harvest losses in .the second season decreased with increase in bed size. When a combine analysis for the results of the two seasons was carried out, no significant difference was obtained with beds. Percentage harvest losses resumed an increasing pattern as bed size increased. After plant maturity, a pre-harvest irrigation was given, to the experiment and harvesting was performed one week to week’s and. three weeks. Soil moisture content was determined at each time of harvest to see its effect on percentage harvest losses. Analysis of variance showed no significant difference for the first season. The mean percentage harvest losses of groundnuts decreased as soil moisture decreased. The second season showed an increase in the percentage harvest losses as soil moisture decreased. The combined analysis of the two season’s data gave a very highly significant effect of soil moisture on harvest 1osses. Mean percentage harvest losses at the first and second soil moisture content were the same ( 21%), while the mean percentage harvest .losses of the third soil moisture were higher (29%). Seasonal effect or percentage harvest losses was found to be significant. The first season, gave higher percentage losses with a mean of 26% while the second season gave lower percentage losses with a mean of 22%. The only significant interaction was between season and variety, showing that the combination of Barberton with the favorable conditions in the second season gave the lowest losses
Soil Moisture , Seed Bed , Manual , Mechanical Harvest, Losses, Varieties , Groundnuts