Harvester best practice on-board expert system and monitoring : SRDC final report
Cane losses through harvesters operating outside Harvest Best Practice (HBP) are a major cost to the sugar industry. Where they exist, current information systems provide feedback to the operator only after the cane has been crushed at the mill. By that time, the harvesting is finished and the losses already made. The project was aimed at developing an on-board computer system to assist operators to interpret HBP and monitor the operation to provide feedback while harvesting. The system was also intended to be able to relay the data to a central repository that could be used to distribute objective reports on operators performance with respect to HBP. This would allow contractors and growers to use this objective information as key performance indicators when negotiating harvest contracts. The project was to use semi-structure interviews, group discussions and other methods with project participants – harvester operators, harvester owners, growers and millers - to define reporting requirements and gauge the systems impact on not only harvest best practice in the field, but also awareness of the factors that contribute to this.