Performance of a Yanmar DB 1000 mechanised paddy thresher was comparatively assessed against manual threshing by impact method using a locally-made wooden box for Amankwatia and AGRA rice varieties under farmer’s field conditions at Nobewam in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The mechanised thresher was evaluated at various threshing drum speeds (550 rpm, 600 rpm and 650 rpm) and feeding rates (200 kgh–1, 400 kgh–1 and 600 kgh–1). Results showed that threshing was satisfactory at grain moisture content between 16.9% w.b. and 18.0% w.b. for both rice varieties. Threshing efficiency increased from 94.6% to 95.8% with no significant difference observed whereas cleaning efficiency decreased significantly from 84.2% to 81.6% with increasing feed rate irrespective of rice variety. Again, threshing efficiency increased with increasing drum rotational speed, irrespective of feed rate and rice variety. Percentage broken grain and grain loss both increased with increasing peripheral drum speed and paddy feed rate irrespective of rice variety. Average fuel consumption, physical energy requirement and threshing capacity increased significantly with increasing drum speed and feed rate. Crop moisture content and shattering ability influenced the threshing efficiency, threshing capacity, grain loss, broken grain, fuel and physical energy requirement at threshing. AGRA rice variety generally performed better than Amankwatia under both mechanical and manually threshing methods. Mechanised threshing was significantly better at reducing grain loss and physical energy demand whilst yielding over 200% higher threshing capacity than manual threshing by impact using the wooden box. Mechanised threshing was financially rewarding, yielding over 500% higher profit margin than the manual threshing option. Further research on optimum crop moisture content for improved threshing of different rice varieties is suggested.
Amankwatia; drum speed; efficiency; feed rate; mechanised; threshing.