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Turkish scholar completes research at Harper Adams

Posted 6 October 2013

I had the opportunity to go anywhere with this funding but we have known Nigel for four years and we had a collaboration between our university and Harper Adams.

Dr Selcuk Arslan

An academic from a university in Turkey has completed a three-month pilot project at Harper Adams University to help find the most energy efficient farming methods.

Dr Selcuk Arslan, from Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, returned to Turkey last month after working with a team at Harper Adams on a research project entitled ‘Fuel consumption and draft force measurements on a tracked tractor during tillage and drilling’.

Currently, agricultural machinery makes up a large percentage of the cost of producing crops, therefore the selection and pairing of farm machinery is essential in reducing cost, as well as ensuring energy efficiency, reducing the amount of time spent carrying out farming activities and sustainability.

The study looked at the performance of three different field machines and six different measurement instruments being used in deep tillage, shallow tillage and direct drilling operations in order to help farmers select the suitable machinery to carry out the job.

Dr Arslan was awarded funding from the Turkish Higher Education Council and decided to come to Harper Adams due to already established links with Dr Nigel Hall, who recently retired as a senior lecturer in the university’s Crops and Environment Sciences Department.

“I had the opportunity to go anywhere with this funding but we have known Nigel for four years and we had a collaboration between our university and Harper Adams,” he added.

“The research we have done is important for several reasons. Firstly, we are researchers and have to do research and collaboration studies are more fruitful as you produce more and it’s stronger to work as a team. Also, when you have stronger studies they yield practical and useful results for the end user – the farmer.

“Secondly, our government expects us to go abroad and make links, and thirdly, I didn’t know England much before and wanted to come here and travel around the country and learn about the British system.

“It was nice to be here and I think it was a good collaboration.”

Dr Arslan said he would like to do research into controlled traffic in the future, but hoped further research by others would come out of the pilot project carried out at Harper Adams.

“We have done similar work in tillage in Turkey and have people working in this area so it will help create more ideas for further research in the future,” he added.

“By doing this we are aiming to help reduce the time spent in farming activities. We also want to reduce the energy used in doing these activities so we are looking for energy efficient ways of doing these things.

“It has to do with sustainability as we all want to improve our yields. It’s to do with production, the environment, saving time and sustainability – all these things improve our work.

“So as a result of this study we hope to find the most energy efficient methods for farmers to use in the future.”

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