Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biosystems Engineering

Major Professor

Luther R. Wilhelm

Committee Members

Fred Tomkins, Ivan McCarty


Two harvesters were used in the evaluation of a one pass harvesting system for sweet sorghum. The CCC-1 harvester, constructed by the researcher, achieved only limited success although some field data were collected. Data were also collected for a harvester constructed by Mr. Enos Showalter of Mt. Herman, Kentucky. Theoretical harvest speed for Mr. Showalter's machine was calculated at 0.6 miles per hour resulting in a theoretical harvesting capacity of 0.21 acres per hour. Theoretical harvest speed for the CCC-1 harvester was 0.20 miles per hour with a harvesting capacity of 0.074 acres per hour. The effective field capacity of the Showalter harvester was measured at 0.20 acres per hour with a volumetric capacity of 165 gallons per hour.

The CCC-1 harvester was compared to a stationary mill on the basis of juice yield. The average weighted juice yield for the field harvester was 30.6 pounds of juice per 50-foot row segment which is comparable to the 35.0 pounds of juice obtained with the stationary mill.

The average percent moisture content (wet basis) of pumice from the CCC-1 harvester was compared to moisture content of pumice from the stationary mill. Values were 68.6 percent for the CCC-1 as compared to 69.7 percent for the stationary mill.

To determine if juice spoilage was a significant factor with a one pass harvesting system, the pH of the sorghum juice was monitored over a 6-hour observation period. A decrease in the pH of the juice is considered indicative of the amount of deterioration the juice undergoes. Statistical analysis of the juice pH indicated an increase in the pH over the 6-hour observation period, thus, no deterioration had occurred. A refractometer was used to measure the degrees Brix (sugar content) of the juice sample. The measurement of degrees Brix is an indication of the syrup yield from raw sorghum juice. The degrees Brix of the juice was statistically analyzed to determine the effect of time on the sugar content of the juice. The degrees Brix remained unchanged throughout the test.

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