By definition, a farm is simply is a piece of land where crops are grown and or livestock is reared. Typically if a piece of land can yield at least US$1000 worth of agricultural produce annually it is a farm. As for the size of a piece of land that is termed a farm, the average sizes vary from region to region. There are different types of farming ranging from subsistence to commercial farming. Any type of farm is characterised by a broad assortment of farm tools and equipment. In this article we shall be discussing some of the common farm tools and equipment.
Table Of Contents
Hand-Held Or Hand-Operated Farm Tools And Equipment
There is a wide and diverse range of hand-held or hand-operated farm tools and equipment. We shall discuss some of the most popular ones here; there are so many farm tools and equipment under this category.
Sickles are mainly used as a harvesting tool – some of the commonly harvested crops are wheat and rice. Sickles can also be used to harvest grass that can be used as thatch, fencing, hay, or for mulching. Besides sickles, machetes can be used for harvesting or for land clearing purposes.
Hoes are instrumental in tilling and ploughing the ground. Hoes are also commonly used for manual weeding. Hoes can be used to form and shape beds i.e. ridges. Hoes can be used for shallow digging for instance when digging holes for sowing or transplanting. Shovels, spades and picks can be used along with hoes too.
Harrows are used for breaking soil lumps and levelling the ground after processes such as tilling or ploughing. The use of hand-held harrows is applicable for small tracts of land e.g. nursery beds or small beds.
This must be part of your farm tools and equipment due to the inevitable need to spray chemicals. The spraying of chemicals is necessary whether it is crop production or livestock production. The types of sprayers vary in terms of working mechanism or size. They can be used to apply pesticides, fungicides, and so on. One of the most widely used ones is the knapsack sprayer which is carried on the back as it is being used. It is used for applying soluble chemicals.
Transportation is a key feature of farming activities. There are times when relatively small cargos have to be moved from one point to another. It can be during any point from land preparation to harvesting. This is where the wheelbarrow comes in. Other farm tools and equipment can even be carried by the wheelbarrow. Carrying weeds away, carrying harvested crops can also be done by the wheelbarrow. It is very dynamic in its use around a farm.
Mechanical Farm Tools And Equipment
There are mechanical farm tools and equipment which operate based on different mechanisms.
Tractors are undoubtedly one of the most instrumental farm tools and equipment. They can draw many mechanical agricultural implements. They can draw harrows, tillers, trailers, seeders, sprayers, fertilizer appliers, seed drills, ploughs, and so much more. There are several factors to consider when choosing a tractor. Things like horsepower, size of land, type transmission, and hydraulic features are some of the things to consider.
The following 3 mechanical farm tools and equipment are usually attached to and drawn by tractors. They are central to land preparation which is a major aspect of all forms of crop production.
There are different types of ploughs that are on the market. Ploughs essentially work the top soil by turning it over so such that the richer soil beneath comes to the surface. Weeds are also destroyed in this ploughing process. Ploughs also leave the soil loosened which improves its aeration.
Cultivators work more or less the same way as ploughs. However, they differ mostly in that cultivators reach much deeper than ploughs. This means a cultivator can come in to enhance what the plough would have done or they can just be used alone. Alternatively, tillers can be used to do what cultivators do.
The harrow is meant to work on the soil surface. It works to break soil lumps and level the ground. In the process it also carries away weeds and rocks. It can even conceal seeds that would have just been sown. This implement is usually used after all land preparation processes would have been done so as to make the land ready for either sowing or planting.
Irrigation is an integral part of modern day farming. The associated farm tools and equipment here range from hoses, pipes, to pumps and related accessories. The level of coverage and sophistication informs on the nature of specific tools and equipment a farm would need.
Combine Harvesters Or Reapers
These are pivotal in large scale farming operations. They are commonly used in the harvesting of wheat and rice. Modes of operation and sizes do differ of course.
There are different types of vehicles that can be handy on a farm. Funds permitting, all-terrain vehicles are most preferable. These types of vehicles are good in that they are versatile in their use. They can be used for a wide range of utilities. They can also be used to tow or draw things like trailers or mechanical farm tools or equipment to or from the fields. They can also be simply used for movement around the farm.
The essence of having farm tools and equipment is to optimize farming activities. Using these tools and equipment significantly lessens the amount of effort required to get work done. However, the farm tools and equipment a farmer ultimately owns depends on a number of factors. The level of mechanisation at the farm i.e. do they rely more on manual or mechanized farming methods? Then there are aspects such as access and costs – some high level mechanical farm tools and equipment are not readily accessible and they are not cheap. Hiring can be an alternative if purchasing outright is not ideal.