Due to expensive harvesting practices, a lack of local growers, and expensive fuel costs, fresh greens such as lettuce and spinach are expensive in Idaho. Local supply decreases during winter off-seasons, increasing transportation costs for greens. The Economic and Natural Resource LLC has concluded there is a need for an inexpensive, multifunctional prototype that can help local growers to more efficiently produce greens. By producing more greens locally, transportation costs will decrease, and the local economy will be strengthened. Currently, there are no products available small enough for a greenhouse or perform multiple functions for the cost desired. The purpose of this project was to develop an electrically powered prototype with modular attachments which till and level the soil, along with harvest and collect greens. The prototype reduces labor required and increased productivity of harvesting greens. The prototype is powered using rechargeable batteries, able to be operated by a single person, and fits on a standard 4 foot wide greenhouse bed. The transportable prototype can till soil up to a depth of 7 inches and harvest greens at 6 inches high. The multifunctionality of the prototype will allow for a greater number of greenhouses to make profit off small greens.
Stewart, Reanne; Witherspoon, Kyle; Khaliki, Mohammad; and Boylan, Kenneth, "Agricultural Harvester" (2014). College of Engineering Presentations. 42.
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