Effect of guard spacing, guard attachments and reel type on chickpea harvesting losses

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6 Scopus citations


The economic viability of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is limited in part due to excessive gathering losses during mechanical harvest. Eight different combine header configurations were investigated to determine if header technologies developed for other pulse crops were also effective at reducing harvesting losses in chickpea. Equipment evaluated were two types of knife guards, two guard attachments, and two types of reels. The experiment was laid out and analyzed as a randomized complete block design and then further analyzed as two, two-way factorial designs. Depending on header configuration, header losses accounted for 58% to 99% of total harvesting losses which ranged from 3% to 20% of total yield. Double density guards reduced header losses by 54% as compared to single density guards when used with an air reel. Reductions in header losses did not occur when double density guards were used with the batted pick-up reel. Averaged across both reel types, long finger guard attachments were found to reduce losses by 44% as compared to guards without the attachment. As compared to the batted pick-up reel, the air reel reduced header and total harvesting losses by more than 54% when used with double density knife guards and guard attachments. When the header was configured with double density guards, long finger guard attachments and the air reel, header losses were 3% of total yield, while total losses were 4% of total yield and significantly lower than for any other header configuration. As compared to the conventionally equipped header with a batted pick-up reel and single density guards, this header configuration reduced header and total losses by 86% and increased combine yield by 126 kg/ha. The results of this study indicated that chickpea header losses can be excessive and that combinations of header technologies can be used to significantly reduce chickpea harvesting losses to levels comparable with other pulse crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Air reel
  • Chickpea harvesting
  • Combine performance
  • Harvest loss
  • Header loss
  • Knife guard
  • Pick-up reel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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