Sugarcane planters must simultaneously perform furrowing, fertiliser application, seedling metering and furrow covering operations. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the planting operational stages (including furrow opening, size and shape; the uniformity of seedling metering; and furrow closing) as a function of the planting speed and furrow depth. A completely randomised, 2x2 factorial design was adopted, with two planting speeds (5.0 and 6.5 km h-1) and two furrow depths (0.35 and 0.45 m), with 20 replicates. The variables analysed were number of billets m-1, number of total and viable buds m-1, percent of inviable buds, furrow depth, furrow width, disturbed area and seedling cover height. The results were subjected to descriptive analysis, analysis of variance and statistical process control. Increased planting speed caused an increase in disturbed area and a decrease in cover height. The increase in furrow depth caused increases in disturbed area, furrow width, furrow depth and cover height. Furrow opening, seedling metering, cover height, planting depths and operation speed were all uniform within the planting operation.
Key words: Planting speed, furrow depth, statistical process control, Saccharum officinarum.
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