Crop geometry plays a vital role in ensuring proper plant growth and yield. Check row planting allows adequate space for weeding in both direction and allowing sunlight down to the bottom of the crop. Therefore, a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) navigated electronic seed metering system for check row planting of maize seeds was developed. The system is comprised of a LiDAR-based distance measurement unit, electronic seed metering mechanism and a wireless communication system. The electronic seed metering mechanism was evaluated in the laboratory for five different cell sizes (8.80, 9.73, 10.82, 11.90 and 12.83 mm) and linear cell speed (89.15, 99.46, 111.44, 123.41 and 133.72 mm·s-1). The research shows the optimised values for the cell size and linear speed of cell were found to be 11.90 mm and 99.46 mm·s-1 respectively. A light dependent resistor (LDR) and light emitting diode (LED)-based seed flow sensing system was developed to measure the lag time of seed flow from seed metering box to bottom of seed tube. The average lag time of seed fall was observed as 251.2 ± 5.39 ms at an optimised linear speed of cell of 99.46 mm·s-1 and forward speed of 2 km·h-1. This lag time was minimized by advancing the seed drop on the basis of forward speed of tractor, lag time and targeted position. A check row quality index (ICRQ) was developed to evaluate check row planter. While evaluating the developed system at different forward speeds (i.e., 2, 3 and 5 km·h-1), higher standard deviation (14.14%) of check row quality index was observed at forward speed of 5 km·h-1.
Keywords: LDR and LED sensor; LiDAR distance sensor; check row quality index; electronic seed metering; seed flow detection.