To increase productivity, experienced farmers and ranchers, as well as homesteaders, use farm machinery. While the use of a hand spade may not seem to be equal to the use of a tractor, both are resources for your efforts that ensure a greater return on productivity.
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However, even with the right equipment, planting, reaping and sowing at the right time and also during the right season is critical. Keeping your farm on a regular schedule will make a big difference in your farm’s value, fertility and production. But what are farm tools and what exactly is mechanised agriculture you ask?
In the past, agricultural machinery meant horses, oxen and mules for mid- and large-sized farms. However, modern times have produced mechanised alternatives that help increase the production of food every year. Urbanization and industrialism have spread through India and abroad due to historical developments in agricultural machinery.
The focus has currently moved to upgrading and expanding these pieces of equipment. Why? The aim is to make them, while maintaining their efficacy, more environmentally friendly.
Farm machines, although expensive to buy, are a long-term investment and give enough produce back. Farming machines, also at half-speed, operate twice as quickly as manual labour. They are also being updated and upgraded into eco-friendly tools with the use of technology. As well as economic and environmental savings, these upgrades ensure more use for the future.
The “future-proofing” of your equipment saves you in the long run, from 3D printing mechanical parts to turning farm waste into electricity.
EVALUATE YOUR REQUIREMENTS
Before you buy any machinery or tool, one needs to evaluate the requirements of their farm, plants and soil. For various factors, such as different land types, different budgets, and the cost of running a machine, a machine that meets the needs of one farmer might not be the right option for the other. Besides these, the decision is often affected by personal needs and desires. There are plentiful options on the market to satisfy the diverse needs of farmers.
Let’s talk about the 4 basic types of farming equipment that are present first.
Machines for Soil Cultivation
We’re talking about ploughs, harrows, and all the other devices that are going to till your land. A key factor in selecting a soil cultivation machine is longevity and strength. If the tractor is not up to the job of pulling through hard soils, it may be a mistake to choose an attachment that would match your normal tractor. You will need to think about the types of farming that you are going to do. When it comes to preparing and growing the land, no till farms still need a lot of effort, you just won’t need the same plough that a pro-till farm would have. Most rising machines would have adjustable characteristics, which is very important. You may have different soil types from one field to another, not to mention different levels of moisture and soil density depending on the time of year you are ploughing. Choose an attachment that can be easily changed to suit your farm so that you can make full use of it.
Machines for Planting
The next season is planting time, so you’ll need a suitable “seeder” or planting machine. Different seeders would have various methods for bringing the seed into the soil: to name a few, plates, belts, tubes and spoons. Some will be more efficient than others with different seed types. Some are simple to fix, and others are vulnerable to wearing (especially plates). This may come down to what is available in your area, but there are always a few different options you should consider. Be careful when purchasing second hand seeders, and before buying, check for wear inside the machine.
There are also some very high-tech planters on the market that will spray herbicide and water into the ground with the seed, so you can find machines that wrap two jobs into 1. depending on your budget.
Machines of Irrigation
The water tanks you drive around the field spraying the crops are not always irrigation machines. From the cloth drip feeding pipes of Figarro irrigation to drone and aerial irrigation techniques, there are some very intelligent irrigation methods out there. These are 2 very expensive field irrigation methods, but they can be a lifeline in areas where there is little access to fields. Don’t forget the irrigation flipside: field drainage. Have you got a network of ditches? Consider the lay of the land and where water is going to drain naturally. Additional irrigation might not be necessary for these areas. In fact, for some portions of your farm, you may need to get machines that can dig ditches to reduce flooding. Hiring these machines is better than buying them, as you won’t need to use them more than once or twice.
Machines for Harvesting
You finally need a harvester. Something that can be used is excellent and will be cheaper for a variety of different crops, but it may be of lower quality. These crops will make a profit for you, so the harvester must be in top notch condition to ensure that crops are harvested safely and efficiently.
If you only harvest once or twice a year (depending on the lifespan of your crop), hiring a top of the range harvester may work out more efficiently than buying a cheap one to keep on your farm. We hopefully gave you a good idea of the four main machines needed on your farm, now it’s just a matter of selecting the best brands and choosing a model!
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List of 9 must-have tools
Farmers traditionally use tractors to speed up several farm chores. The main operations farmers use their tractors are ploughing, tilling and planting fields, but you can also manage your landscape maintenance and routine lawn care, as well as moving and spreading your farm fertiliser.
On both small and large farms, tractors serve farmers and they can be used for a wide range of applications.
- Helicopters and Planes
You can shave days off your schedule by implementing aerial tools. Air-planted seed planting can serve your farm better than soil application. You can help avoid soil compaction by using a helicopter or plane to plant your seeds. It also avoids damage to the wheel track on your land and helps you to take advantage of brief windows of weather opportunities for rapid planting over large areas of land. If you decide to exchange seeds for fertiliser, the same benefits are available. You cover a larger area by spreading dry fertiliser through the air, which results in a deeper distribution pattern and can help create a better, healthier crop.
- Machines for Milking
Your chores also rise as your farm grows and your livestock rises. Manual milking can become a time-consuming chore with the addition of cattle or bovine animals, making a milking machine a valuable investment.
These machines allow you to multi-task while taking care of your pet. They keep the milk safe from external contamination and significantly reduce work time.
- Mulcher Forestry
Your mulching machine shreds vegetation quicker and more effectively than your hand axe and saw, also known as a masticator or brush cutter. The more industrial versions can help you clear several acres of vegetation a day, but when needed, even the more compact machines are helpful.
Your mulcher will expedite land clearing, prevention of wildfires, management of vegetation and even restoration of wildlife. While in the beginning stages of your home, you may not need this specific machine, as your farm inevitably grows and expands, it will become necessary to clear more space.
Usually, it is derived from wood and two bulls pull it. It has been used for tiling, turning the soil and adding fertiliser since ancient times. It is composed of a long log of wood called a ploughshaft. It has a powerful strip of triangular iron known as a ploughshare. The other end is linked to a beam which is then placed on the neck of the bull. The wooden ploughs, however, are now replaced by iron ploughs and they are drawn by tractors.
Hoes have been used for cultivation purposes since ancient times. It consists of a long wooden rod and the animals pull it. It is pulled by the animals and is used for soil loosening and weed removal. It has a solid, wide, bent iron plate that functions as a blade.
- Drill Seed
This is used in seed sowing. With the aid of tractors, this is done. It ensures that the seeds are sown at equal distances and depths, and that the soil is covered. This enables plants to receive adequate soil sunlight, nutrients, and water. This saves labour, time and protects the seeds from birds or other animals being eaten.
A hand tool with a rough head set perpendicular to the handle is a pickaxe or pick. They are used as landscaping tools, to break up hard surfaces and as implements for farming. It consists of a metal handle and a head which has both a pointed and blunt end. The pointed end breaks up difficult surfaces, while it is possible to use the blunt end to pry items up. Soils that a shovel cannot crack can also be broken by a pickaxe. Using the sharp end of the axe, dry, hardened clay or rocky soil may be broken up.
- Spade and shovel
A shovel, such as dirt, coal, gravel, snow, sand, or ore, is a method for digging, raising, and moving bulk materials. In agriculture, building, and gardening, shovels are used extensively. Many shovels consist of a large blade fixed to a medium-length handle and are hand tools.
Hope this helped you with understanding what agricultural tools are and which of them would suit your farm!