Experimental study of the distribution of the heights of sugar beet root crowns above the soil surface
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The results of experimental studies and operational tests of the sugar beet harvesting process carried out recently reveal that the latest models of beet harvesters produced in Europe and America cause considerable loss of the sugar-bearing mass. The source of this loss is mainly the poor topping of the crowns of standing sugar beet roots, more specifically the excessively low point at which the tops are cut off, which results in the straight out loss of sugar-bearing mass. Thus, there is need to search for such engineering solutions that would avoid both the loss of sugar-bearing mass and the presence of residual haulm on the roots. The aim of this study was to reduce the loss of sugar-bearing mass in the process of topping sugar beet root crowns. The results of this research into the distribution of the heights that root crowns protrude above the soil surface have confirmed the hypothesis that it follows the normal distribution. Based on the results, it has been established that this distribution has the following statistical parameters: mean deviation a = 20–30 mm, mathematical expectation m = 40...60 mm. The laboratory unit developed for this work and the field studies performed with it have provided sufficient evidence to develop a new system to automatically adjust the topping height on state-of-the-art root crop harvesters.