The Raised (The Morrelini Chronicles Book 1)

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It also allows visual inspection of cane carrier elements 88 and their billets as they pass through the tunnel. Cane dropping assembly 26 comprises an approximately half-annular coulter to cut the soil, and a pair of furrow-widening boards to form a channel in the soil and into which the cane pieces are dropped one by one from chute Height adjustment linkage 16 comprises a mast rigidly secured to the forward end of frame Upper and lower parallel links and are pivotally connected at one end to mast and at the other end are each pivotally connected to a frame rigid with cane dropping assembly Thus assembly 26 can rise and fall relative to mast by pivotal movement of links and Mast is itself supported by a tractor through drawbar 18 and its tongue The drawbar is connected to the mast by a pivot joint which also connects link to the mast.

The attitude of drawbar 18 relative to mast and therefore the height from the ground of the front end of the planter is controlled by a linkage consisting of a bell crank , a turnbuckle link and a hydraulic ram Ram and turnbuckle are connected to the bell crank by pivot joints , The other end of the ram is pivotally connected to mast The other end of the turnbuckle is pivotally connected to drawbar Thus, extension of ram will tend to raise the mast relative to the tongue and a tractor drawbar. The attitude of parallel links , relative to mast , and therefore the height of cane dropping assembly 26 is influenced by a compression spring acting between lower parallel link and the lower end of bell crank The spring is mounted on a rod connected by a pivot to the bell crank.

The upper end of the spring transmits upward thrust to rod through a plate not shown and the lower end of the spring acts against link Thus upward movement of the cane dropping assembly 26 relative to mast causes compression of spring , and vice versa.

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Tongue is connected to the drawhook of a tractor and rams 38 and are connected to the hydraulic control system of the tractor. Ram 38 is retracted to lower movable hopper portion 34, and the main hopper 20 is filled with billets of green cane in random orientations. When it is desired to commence planting, ram is retracted to lower the front end of the planter, including cane dropping assembly 26, which latter penetrates the soil. Auger 54 in hopper 20 feeds billets towards the left hand side as seen in FIG.

Feed control fingers 68 regulate this flow of billets. The mass of billets in hopper 24 is constantly stirred or agitated by the entry of cane carrier elements 88 to the hopper through opening 79 and their passage through the mass of billets. Each cane carrier element 88 picks up at least one billet, and often as many as three billets, on its cane-supporting flange These billets are carried upwards by the carrier element, out of pick-up hopper The billets are retained on the carrier elements both by the inclination of the axis 92 of rotation of support plate 84 whereby the billets tend to roll towards and lean against plate 84 , and by the flange at the front edge of each carrier element.

As the carrier elements travel upwards, any billets not lying horizonally and not positioned centrally thereon engage the curved alignment members and and are thereby pushed to approximately central horizontal positions.

When each carrier element reaches doffing member all the cane billets thereon except the lower one are pushed off by the doffing member, as indicated in FIG. The resilient mounting of the doffing member allows it to accommodate varying cane thicknesses. As the cane carrier elements 88 travel onwards, each carrying a single horizontal cane billet, the expanded metal grill prevents the billet being dislodged even if the planter traverses very uneven ground. When elements 88 reach cane unloading station pusher member , which reciprocates under the action of rotating cam , successively pushes the cane billets in the forward direction off one end of flange and on to chute The chute guides the billets one by one into cane dropping assembly 26 which forms a furrow in the soil and guides the cane pieces into the furrow.

The furrow may be closed by an attachment not shown mounted on the planter, or by another implement travelling behind the planter. Attachments not shown may also be provided for supplying fertilizer to the soil close to the planted cane and for spraying the cane pieces with fungicide. During planting, the operator can check the feed of billets to the soil by viewing the cane carrier elements through screen The operator can also actuate a first clutch not shown to interrupt drive to the cane carrier elements 88 when necessary e.

A window of expanded metal see FIG. Parallel links , and spring allow the cane dropping and furrow opening assembly 26 to follow ground contours and to move upwards over rocks and tree roots. The half-annular shape of coulter causes it to ride up and over all obstructions which it encounters thereby avoiding the problem hitherto encountered with coulters used for this purpose that they become hooked or jammed under rocks buried in the soil.

At the end of each row to be planted the cane dropping assembly 26 is raised by extending ram Extension of the ram causes anticlockwise angular movement as seen in FIG. Extension of the ram also swings the forward end of drawbar 18 downwards, thereby raising the rear end of the drawbar and with it the front end of frame 12 relative to the ground.

At the same time, the operator actuates the first clutch to interrupt the drive to the cane dispensing mechanism. Firstly, provision is made for simultaneous planting of two rows of cane; and secondly, a modified conveyor is provided to carry cane billets from the main hopper to the pick-up hopper. In FIGS. Two row planting is achieved by mounting two planter units , side by side.

The planter units are connected to a common height adjustment linkage 16 shown in FIG. Each planter unit has its own mast , parallel links , , frame , bell crank , hydraulic ram and compression spring constructed and arranged as in the previous embodiment. The planter units are interconnected by a framework comprising transverse beams , secured to masts , and uprights , supporting a platform for an operator to stand on.

The platform has safety rails and provides a position from which an operator can supervize operation of the planter units. Pivotally mounted centrally on framework is the drawbar 18, its turnbuckle link and the third bell carnk to which the turnbuckle link and drawbar are pivotally connected.

This third bell crank is not provided with its own compression spring but is connected to the two springs of the individual planter units and through a transverse shaft Shaft is journalled in bearings mounted on framework Three crank links are fastened to shaft and pivotally connected, one to each bell crank , by respective adjustable connecting links The two hydraulic rams are connected to the tractor's hydraulic system or to a hydraulic pump mounted on the planter and driven by the tractor's power take-off shaft in parallel, so as to be operated simultaneously. The height adjustment linkage operates in an exactly analogous manner to the linkage 16 of the previous emboidment.

The cane dispensing mechanism 22 of each planter unit, including the cane carrier elements, is substantially similar to that of the previous embodiment, but the manner of feeding cane pieces to the pick-up hopper from the main hopper and the shapes of the hoppers themselves are modified. Main hopper of each planter unit has no moving portion corresponding to the movable hopper portion 34 in the previous embodiment, but has downwardly-converging front and rear walls , and vertical side walls , A chain and slat or scraper-type conveyor is provided to convey cane pieces from each main hopper to its pick-up hopper The conveyor comprises transversely-spaced roller chains trained round lower driven sprockets connected by a drive not shown, to ground wheels 14 and upper idler sprockets Transverse scraper bars or slats are mounted on the chains to carry cane pieces over a support surface constituted by front wall of the main hopper.

Each conveyor extends from the bottom of its main hopper to a position slightly above the level of the upper edges of the side walls and so as to deliver cane pieces over the front upper edge of the main hopper into the pick-up hopper For this purpose a short extension portion of the front hopper wall is provided. Each pick-up hopper is of course open at the top to receive billets from its conveyor Hopper comprises a front wall , left and right hand side walls and respectively, and a rear wall The walls converge downwardly towards the base of the hopper where the cane carrier elements not shown enter the hopper, as in the previous embodiment.

A fertilizer hopper is mounted just in front of pick-up hopper and a mechanism not shown is provided for dispensing fertilizer from it and for delivering the fertilizer to the soil. In use, conveyors deliver cane billets to their respective pick-up hoppers, and the selection and dispensing of the billets proceeds in the same manner as in the previous emboidment.

The cane planter of FIGS. The planter units comprise respective billet dispensing mechanisms , which are substantially similar to the mechanisms 22 of the previous embodiments and which will therefore not be described in detail, and respective main hoppers , each to contain a relatively large quantity of cane billets. The two billet dispensing mechanisms , of the planter units , are mounted on a common rectangular frame Frame has at its forward end, attachment means in the form of a conventional A-frame whereby it is adapted to be connected to the draught links , of the 3 point hitch of an agricultural tractor The A-frame also provides an upper connector which receives the top link of the tractor's hitch.

Two depth wheels , are mounted on frame at opposite sides thereof so as to be height adjustable. These wheels limit the depth at which cane billets are planted by the planter. The billet dispensing mechanisms may be driven from depth wheels , or from the rear wheels of tractor Two cane dropping assemblies , are provided, one for each of the planter units , These assemblies are constructed as in the two embodiments described above and are mounted on frame through respective masts rigidly fixed to the frame and parallel links , , these parts corresponding to items , and in the previous embodiments.

The two main hoppers , of the planter units , are supported on a common frame or chassis by a pair of wheels , A forwardly extending drawbar interconnects chassis with the remainder of the implement so that the assembly of the two main hoppers and is drawn thereby in trailed relationship thereto.

A conventional pin connection as used with agricultural trailers allows the drawbar to be pivotally connected to a clevis on frame so as to be easily disconnected and the main hopper assembly detached. Two chain and slat conveyors , are provided, one in each of the main hoppers , and deliver cane billets to the cane dispensing mechanisms , as in the previous embodiments. Each conveyor comprises a generally horizontal lower portion leading to an upwardly inclined elevating portion A wedge or roof-shaped partition is provided between the conveyors.

This ensures that cane billets cannot lie between the conveyors and as it is only a low structure it hardly forms a significant division between hoppers , which can therefore be considered as a single large hopper with twin discharge conveyors. The hopper has a sloping rear wall and thus the conveyors can effect complete emptying of the hopper.

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  • A similar wedge, or roof-shaped partition is provided between the dispensing mechanisms , to guide the billets into the dispensing mechanisms. It will be noted that for this reason, the dispensing mechanisms slope in opposite directions. Baffle plates , mounted on hoppers , similarly help to guide billets into the dispensing mechanisms as they fall from the discharge ends of conveyors , Drives not shown are provided for conveyors , from ground wheels , each including manual control means in the form of a clutch permitting interruption of the drive so that a desired level of billets can be maintained in the dispensing mechanisms , The planter of FIGS.

    However, the mounting of the billet dispensing mechanisms and and the cane dropping assemblies , on the tractor links i. Firstly, it improves maneuverability, secondly it provides better lateral control of the furrow openers of the cane dropping assemblies i.

    It will be appreciated that this arrangement and mounting of the parts of the planter is equally applicable to a one-row planter. A further advantage of the trailed main cane hopper is that it can be used for transporting cane from a harvester harvesting green cane. If two or more such trailers are employed to ferry cane from the harvester then the stoppage time for recharging the planter is reduced to a minimum. In the embodiment of FIG.

    Planter has a main cane hopper mounted on wheels and drawn by means of a drawbar as a fully trailed implement, as in the previous embodiments. Main cane hopper has a chain and slat elevator conveyor positioned to elevate billets out of the hopper and to drop them into the billet dispensing apparatus as in the previous embodments.

    The conveyor comprises a single upwardly inclined conveying run and an associated return run Hopper comprises a generally box-shaped container having mounted therein, on a transverse pivot , movable cane support means in the form of a liftable floor portion having connected thereto by a hinge , also having a transverse axis, a wall portion which can slide on the upper edge of the rear wall of the container.

    An actuator in the form of a hydraulic ram acts between cane support means and drawbar to move the support means from a position shown in dotted lines and identified by reference letter A in which the full volume of container is available to receive cane, through position B to position C, in which all cane pieces tend to slide towards converyor It will be appreciated that this arrangement permits the hopper to be completely filled and completely emptied.

    Treatment means is provided adjacent conveyor to treat cane billets carried thereon with a suitable chemical or other agent, e. The treatment means comprises a spray head operative to spray liquids across the full width of conveyor , and liquid collection means.

    The liquid collection means comprises a perforated floor positioned under conveying run of the conveyor, a collection plate positioned under return run thereof, and a reservoir positioned to receive liquid from the collection plate. A hydraulic pump not shown mounted adjacemt A-frame is driven by the tractor's p. A filter is provided in the path of fluid drawn from the reservoir.

    In use, main hopper is filled, with cane support means in position A. Cane planting proceeds as described in connection with the preceding embodiments. Ram is progressively extended, and spray head applies a heavy dose of fungicide to the billets before they reach the billet dispensing mechanism. The provision of movable cane support means to tip the cane billets towards conveyor minimizes damage to the "eyes" or "nodes" of the cane from which new growth occurs, while allowing the use of a large capacity hopper.

    The use of a spray head in combination with liquid collection means on hopper allows a very heavy dose of liquid fungicide to be applied while still achieving economy in the use of fungicide. The principal advantage of the embodiments of the invention described above lie in the effective and simple apparatus for dispensing cane billets from a mass of billets in random orientations. The provision of attitude control means to maintain the cane carrier elements horizontal throughout their travel has the advantage that the cane carried on the elements can be subjected to a series of operations pick-up, alignment, doffing of excess pieces and discharge at any selected time throughout its entire circular path.

    During its travel on the cane carrier elements the cane is held in position only by its weight and is therefore readily subjected to alignment and doffing.