SIMULATION OF THE DYNAMICS OF CASSAVA STEM CUTTINGS ON AN INCLINED WOOD SURFACE
Development of precision machines to handle some of the field activities involved in the cultivation of cassava is a highly welcomed project among young enterprising farmers who are keen in resolving the posterity of their wellbeing as a big time farmer. Mechanization of cassava in the tropics is grossly hampered by lack of extensive knowlegde on the behaviour, physical properties of cassava stems and parameters that have great influence on the handling of the stems during cultivation, hence the limita-tion of advancing the present semi-automatic planter to fully automated one is still a mirage in the tropics. This paper presents the flow properties of cassava cuttings that can lend it to proper handling in a metering machine. A variable inclined wood surface rig with an ejection outlet was used to study the properties of the stem. Measured cassava stem predictive parameters; diamater, lentgh,weight; angle variation on the rig; response parameters; percentage ejected, percentage sliding through, forces acting on stems were obtained. The results from the study could be used to predict acurately the exact dynamics of a given stem isolated from the bulk of stem cuttings stacked in the metering hopper. Models to predict the flow properties of the stems were obtained; further simulation of the dynamics was embarked upon using MATLAB software. A major transition zone of stem characteris-tics per pecentage sliding to ejection occurred within the range of angles of 150 -300. This might be a favourable angular zone for isolating the stems from the bulk mass while the effectively isolated stems can be metered appropriately by another mechanism in the process of developing a metering device for cassava stem cuttings.