Every asparagus growers new best friend!

 

Introducing the Geiger-Lund selective asparagus harvester:

 

 

Scroll to bottom for more pictures and videos...
 

 

Benefits:

  • Substantial savings on harvesting costs.

  • Eliminates manual field laborers.

  • Start your harvest on your schedule without having to find a crew.

  • Harvest for the full season even when other crops begin being harvested.

  • Harvest 24 hours a day.

 

Features:

  • Adjustable wheel centers - row centers from 40" and up

  • One man operation - All you need is the tractor driver.

  • Fully automatic, just drive down the row, the machine does the rest.

  • Super simple and very easy to adjust, maintain and repair.

 

 

Specifications:
 

Harvesting width - 24"

Weight:  2,000 pounds

Length: 12' 6" 

Wheel centers: Adjustable 40 inches to 72 inches

Fuel tank for compressor:  10 gallons.

Requires two hydraulic circuits from the tractor, one

for the conveyor and one for the pickup rollers. (2 to 5 gallons per minute

for each circuit)

John Deere gas or optional diesel engine powered air compressor. 29 CFM @ 175 PSI 

Optional Diesel compressor

Spear cutting height: Can be set for 8, 9 or 10 inch all green spears

Estimated harvesting speed: 1/4 mph to 3 mph * 

Estimated yield: 70% or higher.

 

 

 Download the Model 2019 Owners Manual (PDF)

 

Price:  $80,000 (with gasoline powered compressor)

Price subject to change without notice.

* The cut timing will be accurate from 1/4 mph to about 5 mph.  We have not experimented much above 2mph. 
Higher speeds may negatively affect yields.

 

Multi-row harvesting:

The most expensive part of machine harvesting asparagus is the cost of the tractor driver. 

The hourly cost of the driver is more than half of the cost of machine harvesting.

 

Having a single tractor tow two or three machines at once dramatically reduces the cost of harvesting.

 

If you are towing two or three 1 row harvesters with a single tractor, and one of the harvesters suffers a break-down, then you can un-hitch it and keep on harvesting while the repairs are made. 

 

With a multi-row machine your are dead in the water until the repairs are made.

 

Gieger-Lund can provide toolbars for pulling more than one machine.

 

 

Pulling two machines with 60 inch row centers. 

 

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Here are some videos of the production prototype unit in operation...

 

 

 

The Geiger-Lund selective asparagus harvester is simple and super easy to use!

 

  Easy Setup and Operation!

(First you must put oil in the engine and fuel in the fuel tank)

 

1. Hitch the harvester to the tractor and connect the hydraulic hoses and the 12 volt power wire to the tractor.
2. Set the machine height above the bed with the turnbuckles on the rear.
3. Start the compressor and wait until full air pressure is reached.

4. Set the blade stroke length with the stroke control knob.

5. Put an empty lug box in the rack.

 

Start harvesting!
 

 

To Machine Harvest Asparagus, Imitate Humans!
 

The Geiger-Lund selective asparagus harvester cuts and picks up asparagus spears the same way as the field workers do. The machine has electronic eyes, arms equipped with asparagus knives, and rubber fingers to pick up the spears the same way that the field workers do.

The machine travels down the bed the same as a field worker does, looking with its photo-electric eyes for spears tall enough to harvest. Just as the human workers do, the machine then gently grips the harvestable spears with its rubber fingers, before cutting the spear with a knife that is nearly identical to the knives used by the field workers.

Once the spear is cut, the rubber fingers transfer the spear via a conveyor to a box. Like the field hands, the machine places the spears in the box all oriented in the same direction for easy handling.

Admittedly, a human is better at cutting a spear if the spear is leaning over or deformed.

However, the Geiger-Lund machines can harvest far faster than a human, and at a far lower cost. The cost reduction is large enough that the grower will make a higher profit on his asparagus even though the machine is not quite as efficient as a hand crew.

How It Works

How the Geiger-Lund asparagus harvester works

If a spear is tall enough to reach the spear sensor, the sensor measures the speed of the spear,
determines which channel the spear is passing through, and sends the information to a computer.


Next, the spear is gripped by soft rubber fingers on counter rotating shafts, which pull up on the spear.


When the spear reaches the correct position for cutting, the computer fires the correct blade.

 
Once the spear is cut, it travels through the rollers up to the backstop. 


The spears slide down the backstop and end up traveling on the conveyor butt first out to the box.


The conveyor then drops the spears into a lug box, all lined up and pointing the same direction.


If the box gets full, a horn sounds to alert the driver to swap a empty lug with the full one.


Spears that pass through the rubber fingers, but are not tall enough to harvest and don't get cut,
pass through un-damaged.

 

 

Green asparagus harvester - Geiger-Lund Harvesters

1. Spear is detected by spear sensor
2. Spear is grasped by rubber fingered rollers
3. Spear is cut while being pulled on by rubber fingers
4. Cut spear is lifted to conveyor by transfer rollers
5. Conveyor transfers spears to a box, lined up and oriented

 


Reliability
 

The Geiger-Lund machine was designed with reliability as a primary goal.  Asparagus harvesters
can't afford to have down time.  The machine is quite simple, easy to understand, easy to
operate, and easy to repair if repairs are needed. 

The harvester has a spear sensor that uses photo-electric light beams to sense the spears and
has no moving parts.  The photo sensors are easy to get, off-the-shelf parts, and easy to replace. 
They should last far longer than the life of the machine though.

The mechanisms that pick up the spears and transport them to the conveyor are super simple and
built super rugged.  They require no lubrication and no maintenance and should last the life of
the machine.  (Some of the rubber fingers will wear out and need to be replaced periodically)
The conveyor is v-belt guided and should never come off its pulleys.

We've never had a single problem with the conveyor.  After all, it's a small, low-speed, conveyor
that never has a heavy load, and uses large double sealed ball bearings.

The air cylinders have 1/4" thick cylinder walls.  You could drive over them in your tractor without
damaging them.  The piston rods are alloy 1045 steel with a yield strength of over 100,000 psi and
they are welded to the pistons.  The cylinders are permanently lubricated with grease and are
maintenance free.  If you somehow bend a piston rod it can be replaced in less than 15 minutes.

The air valves are off-the-shelf and rated for millions of cycles. Replacing a valve takes about 20
minutes. The valves operate on dry air and need no lubrication.

We are currently using John Deere Air compressors. If you have a preference we can probably use
whatever brand you would prefer. 

The frame is made from heavy 1/4" wall steel tubing and some 3/8" wall tubing.

The electronics consists of one small easily replaceable circuit board. The electronics should be
problem free for the life of the machine, but can be replaced quickly if need be.

 


Field Testing In Nyssa Oregon - Spring 2017


We had our "shakedown" field testing this last spring in Nyssa Oregon.  We made some radical design

changes from our previous machines, and as a result we had a few bugs that were difficult to solve, but

solve them we did.

We are very happy with the results we were getting by the end of the season. The machine works great!

 

 

This is a picture of one of the fields where we harvested with the machine.

Asparagus field where we ran the asparagus harvester in Nyssa Oregon 2017

 

The machine!

Geiger-Lund selective mechanical asparagus harvester for picking asparagus

 

 

 

Videos
 

These videos were taken before all the bugs were fixed...

 

The first video was taken with the camera mounted under the tongue looking back at the spears passing

through the sensor.  In the second video the camera is mounted on the machine and shows a side view

of the spears being cut and picked up.  The third video shows the spears being transferred from roller

set to roller set on the way up to the conveyor.  The final video has the camera mounted looking down

at the spears as they are discharged onto the conveyor belt.

 

These videos were taken before we had all the bugs worked out, which is why you may see a number

of spears get dropped, or have other problems.

 

Spears passing through the sensors.

 

Spears being cut and picked up.

 

Spears being lifted up to the conveyor.

 

Spears  being discharged onto the conveyor. This video was taken while we were experimenting with the divider plated on

the backstop.  We have a couple of sheet metal plates c-clamped to the machine.  A spear has gotten hung up on the sharp

edge of one of the sheet metal plates.

Notice that most of the spears end up going down the conveyor butt first.  With the divider plates we tested, 100% of the
spears land on the conveyor butt first.

 

 

 

Photos of our new Model GL-2019 one row selective asparagus harvester