A review of opportunities to improve the design and performance of sugarcane harvesters
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This review is a response to the recognition by the SRDC that the Australian sugarcane industry needs an informed basis from which to make decisions as to appropriate investments in harvesting sector research. There is a renewed interest at a grower and regional level for improved harvester designs and harvesting practices. SRDC continues to receive requests from industry to support sugarcane harvester research and development. This review looks at component research on the Australian type ‘chopped cane’ sugarcane harvester, harvesting performance and harvest and transport system analysis undertaken in Australia and overseas and considers the benefits delivered. Opportunities to improve the design and performance and reduce the costs of sugarcane harvesting along with recommendations for further research, development and extension to facilitate productive and profitable adoption are identified. It is concluded that ‘chopped cane’ harvester and harvesting performance research has delivered significant direct and indirect benefits to the Australian sugar industry and a number of key examples are highlighted to demonstrate these benefits.