Agricultural machinery relates to the mechanical structures and devices used in farming or other agriculture. There are many types of such equipment, from hand tools and power tools to tractors and the countless kinds of farm implements that they tow or operate. Agricultural machinery and equipment help farmers produce the goods that consumers want and need. Without the proper machinery and equipment, farmers would not be efficient enough to provide the food, clothing, and shelter that we need. Hundreds of years ago, the population was made up of primarily farmers and ranchers. Now, a very small percent of the population is responsible for producing the food and fiber used today. Machinery and equipment allow this to be possible. Because of the high technology with machinery and equipment, in some countries one farmer produces enough food to feed over 100 people.
Using power only from humans or horses would not produce nearly this amount. Machinery and equipment reduce the amount of hard labor needed for farmers to do their work. Jobs are easier and take less time when machinery and equipment are used. Machinery and equipment also help farmers produce larger amounts of higher quality livestock and grain products.
Different types Machinery and Equipments are used in every Sector of the Agricultural Industry. Some of them are in-
- Livestock production
- Crop production
Machinery and equipment can be used to help producers care for and manage their livestock. Milking machines, automated feeding and watering systems, incubators, egg candlers, tractors, computers, and many other types of machinery and equipment can be used by the producer to improve efficiency and quality of products.
Machinery and equipment are very important in the horticulture industry. Lawnmowers, tillers, sprayers, spreaders, irrigation systems, wood chippers, lawn rollers, leaf blowers, computers, and tractors are all vital pieces of machinery and equipment used by horticulturalists.
The forestry industry relies on machinery and equipment to function. Log trucks, skidders, loaders, cutters, harvesters, chainsaws, computers, and surveying equipment are all necessary for efficient forestry operations.
Without the proper machinery and equipment, large-scale crop production would be impossible. Tilling, planting, applying pesticides and fertilizers, and harvesting all require specialized machinery and equipment. Plows, planters, drills, sprayers, spreaders, combines, balers, computers, tractors, grain trucks, and many other types of machinery and equipment are necessary to produce crops effectively.
Some other Machineries and Equipments used in producing crops are-
- Tillage equipment
- Planting equipment
- Application equipment
- Harvesting equipment
- Global Positioning System
- Geographic Information System
Tractor – A tractor is a motorized vehicle that is used to pull heavy loads and to provide power to operate implements. There are two main types of tractors — wheeled and crawler.
- A wheeled tractor is a tractor that usually has four or more wheels that turn and move the tractor.
- A crawler tractor is a tractor that has steel or rubber tracks fitted around the wheels that make the tractor move.
Tillage equipment – It is a equipment used to plow or till the soil. It slices, breaks, or cuts the soil in order to prepare the ground, control weeds, or create mulch. The tillage equipment used depends on the type of soil and the crop that is to be grown. Tillage equipment includes plows, harrows, and cultivators.
- A plow is an implement used to cut, lift, and turn over soil. It is commonly used to prepare the soil for planting. There are various types of plows and the one most commonly used in many countries is the moldboard plow.
- A harrow is an implement with spikes or disks that is used to cultivate the soil by pulverizing and smoothing it.
- A cultivator is an implement used to loosen the soil and control weeds between rows of growing crops..
Planting equipment – It is a equipment used to place seeds in the soil for germination. It must be properly adjusted so the right amount of seed is planted at the proper depth in the soil. Planting equipment includes planters and drills.
- A planter is an implement used to place seeds in the soil at the proper rate, depth, and spacing.
- A drill is an implement used to plant seeds for germination.
Application equipment – It is a equipment used to apply fertilizer, pesticides, growth regulators, and other materials to crops. It must be properly calibrated and operated so the right amount of material is delivered. The equipment may use dry or liquid materials. Application equipment includes sprayers and dusters.
- A sprayer is a piece of equipment that uses tanks, pumps, and nozzles to apply liquid materials.
- A duster is a piece of equipment used to apply dry powder materials..
Harvesting equipment – It is a equipment used to pick, reap, or otherwise gather crops. Different types of crops require different types of equipment. Harvesting equipment includes combines, pickers, balers, and mowers.
- A combine is a machine used to harvest crops as it moves across a field
- A picker is a machine used to harvest crops by picking. Cotton is the most common crop harvested with a picker.
- A mower is a piece of equipment used to cut standing vegetation. Mowers are used to harvest forage crops, such as grass and alfalfa. After mowing, the crop may be left in rows to dry and be picked up by a baler.
- A baler is a piece of equipment used to harvest forage crops that have been cut, dried, and placed in rows. The baler is pulled behind a tractor and picks the dried vegetation up off the ground.
Global Positioning System (GPS) – It is a system that uses satellites and computers to tell a farmer his or her exact location in a field. The earth is continually circled by 24 GPS satellites. At least four of these satellites are visible from any one point on Earth.
GPS uses three satellites that are connected by an electronic signal with a receiver on the ground. (A fourth satellite is used to verify that the information is accurate.) Distances from satellites to the receiver can be quickly measured. Computers calculate the exact location of the receiver. GPS receivers are generally located on equipment that moves over a field. GPS systems can precisely guide tractors and equipment through a field and program computers to deliver precise amounts of seed, fertilizer, or herbicide to plants in variable amounts.
Geographic Information System (GIS) – It is a system used with GPS to make maps or grids of a field. These maps give a farmer data about soil conditions, crop yield, and other information so he or she can make decisions needed to improve the crops in the field.
Maintenance of Farm Machinery
- During the repair of any machinery, appropriate protective clothing should be worn. This includes helmets, goggles, gloves, hearing protection, and safety shoes.
- Do not wear baggy clothing, and keep long hair tied back. Loose-fitting clothing and hair can easily catch in rotating machinery parts.
- All machinery should be maintained regularly. Any worn or broken parts should be replaced immediately, not fixed in a temporary manner. When repairs are made, the machine should be fixed according to manufacturers’ specifications.
- When repairs are made, any guard removed during repair must be replaced before the equipment is used.
- Check tire inflation and tread periodically to prevent flats and blowouts.
- Whenever preparing to work on a piece of equipment, block wheels to prevent movement. Any jacks used should be stable and in good condition.
- Inspect brakes, hitches, safety chains, springs, and shackles regularly for wear, broken or missing parts, and cracks in the welds.
- Inspect hydraulic and air lines regularly for wear and cracks. Replace lines that show any sign of damage.
- Caution should be taken when working on hydraulic systems. Make sure all pressure in the system is relieved and that the fluid is cool before loosening any fittings or removing lines. Wear leather or rubber gloves.