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ABSTRACT

Despite the high level of production of sorghum in Nigeria its threshing and cleaning

operation remains among the major challenges to farmers especially in the northern part of

the country. Efficient sorghum threshers are not available to Nigerian farmers. The

prototype thresher developed at Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) was associated

with many problems such as: low out capacity, higher scatter loss and mechanical grain

damage. To solve these problems a modified model was designed, constructed and

evaluated. The major components modified include feed hopper, cylinder, concave and

shaker. The machine performance was evaluated at various levels of moisture contents,

cylinder speed and feed rates. The results showed that threshing efficiency, cleaning

efficiency and throughput capacity of the modified thresher were 99.98, 99.95 % and

253.96kg/h respectively while those for scatter losses and mechanical grain damage were

5.45 and 3.70 % respectively. This indicate the percentage increase of 0.98, 6.95 and 56.96

% for threshing efficiency, cleaning efficiency and throughput capacity respectively and

decrease in scatter loss and grain damage of 5.98 and 3.84 % respectively. The best

combinations of the independent variables for optimum operations were 13 % moisture

content, 12.67 m/s cylinder speed and 5 kg/min feed rate. The optimum performance

values obtained were of 297 kg/h throughput capacity, while threshing efficiency, cleaning

efficiency, scatter losses and mechanical grain damage were 99.8, 99.5, 5.09, and 3.4 %

respecti


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