In this work, an on-board field area meter with simple structure and low cost is developed on agricultural machinery in order to measure the cultivated area. It consists of a simple compass for position measurement and a proximity switch for distance measurement. Furthermore, an 8051 series microprocessor is employed to perform the calculations required for calibration and contour integral. The device is designed to be operated in either manual or automatic mode. Field tests carried out on a peanut gathering machine and a corn harvester show that the errors of the measured area in both operation modes are less than 2.5%. Hence, it is highly expected that this device can offer great contribution to agricultural automation

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