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Prof. Surendra Singh
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The book on 'Farm Tools and Equipment for Agriculture' is an attempt to put together all relevant information regarding the availability of various tools and equipment for land development, seed bed preparation, seeding, planting & transplanting, weeding & interculture, plant protection, harvesting and threshing, straw management, horticulture and forage crops. Information on each item contains a brief description, its uses and power source required. In this a list of manufacturers who have supported the book writing through photographs and drawings are appended in the last to facilitate the readers for easy location. The information provided is quite exhaustive. o Introduction o Land leveling equipment o Tillage equipment o Seeding, planting and transplanting equipment o Weeding and fertilizer application equipment o Plant protection equipment o Harvesting and threshing equipment o Forage harvesting equipment o Farm tools and equipment for horticulture, plantation and hill agriculture o Farm tools and equipment for dryland agriculture o Straw management equipment

0 Start Pages

Preface   The relevance of farm equipment and machinery to achieve timeliness of farm operation, efficient use of precious inputs such as HYV seeds, fertilizers, chemicals and irrigation water for sustainable agriculture and enhanced productivity of land and labour does not need further emphasis. They also reduce drudgery on the farm. The Indian farmer needs farm machinery which is site-specific and blending with the socio-economic and agro-climatic conditions that are constantly changing. Indian agriculture must continuously evolve to remain ever responsive to manage the changes and meet the growing and diversified needs of different stakeholders in the entire production to consumption chain. International and national experience has clearly established the benefits of engineering inputs in terms of enhanced productivity by about 15% and reduction in cost of production by 20%. However, engineering inputs in Indian agriculture so far have been limited to only a few crops, farm operations and post harvest activities. Mechanization in livestock and fisheries sectors has been minimal. The Vision of Agricultural Engineering has been to develop and demonstrate appropriate, efficient, safe and gender-friendly equipment and technologies for different farming systems and agro-climatic conditions. Mechanization of hill agriculture, horticultural crops, and dryland farming is the priority. Appropriate machinery for cost effective custom hiring and contract farming is becoming a necessity to obviate individua1 ownership of implements and yet achieving the desired level of farm mechanization. It is estimated that the energy input to agriculture would have to be increased from the present level of 2.0 to 2.5 kW/ha by 2020 to meet the production and productivity level. About 65% of this power will be through tractors and self-propelled machines. Vagaries of nature and a large tract of cultivable land (60%) remaining rainfed, it is necessary to carry out farming operations in a timely manner to achieve the desired level of production of field and horticultural crops. The book on 'Farm Tools and Equipment for Agriculture' is an attempt to put together all relevant information regarding the availability of various tools and equipment for land development, seed bed preparation, seeding, planting & transplanting, weeding & interculture, plant protection, harvesting and threshing, straw management, horticulture and forage crops. Information on each item contains a brief description, its uses and power source required. In this a list of manufacturers who have supported the book writing through photographs and drawings are appended in the last to facilitate the readers for easy location. The information provided is quite exhaustive but by no means complete. I would like to place on record my gratitude for the inspiration and approval given by Er. S.S. Kohli, Director & Scientist-F, SERC, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi for writing this book. Financial support by Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi is heartfully acknowledged. I am also grateful to Dr. P.A. Turbatmath, Assoc. Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, Er. S.V. Rane, Head, Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture, Pune and Associate Dean, College of Agriculture, Pune for their full hearted support during the execution of project.

1 Introduction

The application of machines to agricultural production has been one of the outstanding developments in world agriculture during last fifty years. The results of this development can be seen in many aspects such as reduction in burden and drudgery of farm work and worker, increase in production per worker, increase in cropping intensity due to timeliness of operations, reduction in grain losses and increase in farm employment. Mechanization is particularly advantageous when it can minimize a high peak labour demand that occurs over a relatively short period of time each year. For example, sowing of wheat and harvesting of paddy in the months of October and November, transplanting of paddy in the month of June and harvesting of wheat in the months of April and May. Severe labour shortages and high rate of wages during peak period, together with simultaneous demands for increased agricultural production had a marked influence on the mechanization of certain farm operations such as seedbed preparation, sowing/planting/transplanting, harvesting and threshing. Mechanization encourages better management of farms, improvement in working conditions and performance of jobs that would otherwise be difficult by hand. It also helps in reducing the cost of production.

1 - 14 (14 Pages)
2 Land Levelling Equipment

Declining water table and degrading soil health are the major concerns for the current growth rate and sustainability of Indian Agriculture. Thus proper emphasis is being given on the management of irrigation water usage for adequate growth of agriculture. Keeping in view, the need for judicious use of our natural resources, concerted efforts are being made to enlighten the farmers for efficient use of irrigation water at farm level. Generally, in rice-wheat rotation farmers believed that their fields are levelled and needed no further levelling, but this is not true. Most of the fields are not adequately levelled and requires further precision land levelling. The enhancement of water use efficiency and farm productivity at field level is one of the best options to redress the problem of declining water level. Levelling, smoothing and shaping the field surface is as important to the surface irrigation system and as the design of laterals, manifolds, risers and outlets for sprinkler drip irrigation systems. It is a process for ensuring that the depths and discharge variations over the field are relatively uniform and, as a result, that water distributions in the root zone are also uniform. These field operations are required nearly every cropping season, particularly where substantial cultivation following harvest disrupts the field surface. There are basically two types of land levelling viz. (i) to provide a slope which fits a water supply; and (ii) to level the field to its best possible condition with minimal earth movement. The second one is generally the most feasible one, because land levelling is expensive and large earth movements may leave significant areas of the field without fertile topsoil, and is the most economic approach also.

14 - 40 (27 Pages)
3 Tillage Equipment

Tillage is a mechanical manipulation of soil to provide favourable condition for crop production. Soil tillage consists of breaking the compact surface of earth to a certain depth and to loosen the soil mass, so as to enable the roots of the crops to penetrate and spread into the soil. A good seedbed is generally considered to imply finer particles and greater firmness in the vicinity of seeds. The depth up to which tillage operations disturb the soil can classify the operation as shallow, medium or deep. The depth of tillage depends on the crop and soil characteristics and also on the source of power or energy available. The optimum seedbed preparation for raising upland crops, involves the many unit operations. Strength of soil is affected by soil moisture content and can be represented in terms of cone index. Compacted soil has more cone index than the loose soils. Movement of machine in the field causes soil compaction. Sometimes it forms hard pan which is to be broken by the tillage operations to enhance root growth and penetration and infiltration of excess water.

41 - 118 (78 Pages)
4 Seeding, Planting and Transplanting Machinery

4.1 Seeding equipment Sowing is an art of placing seeds in the soil to have good germination in the field and thereby gives better productivity. Seeding is one of the most important farm operations after soil preparation because the time of sowing and the way in which it is done decisively influence germination of the seed and growth of the seedling during its early stages. This in turn affects the subsequent time of weeding and inter-culture, harvesting and threshing and finally the yield. Seed needs an adequate supply of moisture, temperature, air and protected environment for good germination. Crop sowing refers to broadcasting seeds on the surface of soil, placement of seeds in the soil or transplanting seedlings in the soil, under optimum conditions. The primary functions of any planting operation are to establish an optimum plant population and spacing, the ultimate goal being to obtain the maximum net return per unit area. Plant population and spacing requirements are affected by various factors such as the crop type and variety, soil type, soil fertility level, soil moisture and row spacing upon the cost and convenience of operations such as thinning, weed control etc. In order to get better returns, the right amount of seed should be placed at the right time and at a predetermined depth and spacing in the soil. Usually the depth of sowing depends upon the moisture availability and seed emergence capacity. The amount of seeds to be sown varies according to the size of seeds, percentage germination etc.

119 - 274 (156 Pages)
5 Weeding and Fertilizer Application Equipment

5.1 Weeding and Interculture Equipment The aim of weeding and intercultivation operation is to provide best opportunity to crop to establish and grow vigorously up to time of maturity. The main objectives of weed control are to improve the soil conditions by reducing evaporation from the soil surface, improve infiltration of rain or surface water, and reduce runoff to maintain ridges or beds on which the crop is grown and to reduce competition of weeds for light, nutrients and water. Mechanical methods of weed control are simple and easily understood by farmers. The tools and implements for mechanical weed control are mostly manual and animal operated. Manual method is most effective but is slow. It is popular in regions where labour wages are low and labour is easily available during the season. The additional cost of weeding using implements is comparatively less than the gains due to extra yields obtained. First weeding operation is mostly done between and along the rows. Remaining operations are done mostly between the rows. Hand hoes are generally used for removing weeds between plants in a row.

275 - 324 (50 Pages)
6 Plant Protection Equipment

Ever since man started domesticating plants and animals for food, feed and fiber, he is facing competition from insects, disease and other pests. The struggle is going to continue as long as man wants plants and animal. The need to save plants/crops from the ravages and depredations of pests and to reduce the losses caused by them became more urgent (Patel, 2004). India is a predominantly agricultural country and will continue to be so. Neither individuals nor nations can live without agriculture. India is witnessing growth of its agriculture, industry and economy in general, at the same time the population is growing at an alarming pace. The crop losses by pests in our country are enormous. Chemical control continues to play a major role in crop protection; at the same time it enhances the environmental pollution problem. One has to use chemical control in a precise way by adopting Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In applications of pesticide (which are poisonous), the technique used should be such that minimum quantity of pesticides is applied to cover the Target-Leaf-Foliage with less environment pollution. Water is usually used as a carrier to apply pesticides to the Target-Leaf-Foliage. Beside water, air stream is also used, to carry fine droplet-particles to reach the Target-Leaf-Foliage.

325 - 382 (58 Pages)
7 Harvesting and Threshing Equipment

7.1 Harvesting and threshing equipment for cereal crops Harvesting and threshing is an important operation in the farming. This can be done either manually or with the help of power operated machinery. Harvesting of field crops continues to be one of the most labour intensive operations in agricultural production system. Harvesting of crop is generally done by hand using sickle in India. Power operated harvesting machinery has not caught up with Indian farmers because of limited size of land holdings, economic constraints and non-uniformity of field conditions. Manual harvesting with different hand tools continues to be dominant, which takes 170-200 man-hours to harvest one hectare of paddy crop. Due to high labour demand at the time of harvesting, the operation continues for weeks together, resulting in over drying of crops in the field causes grain losses to the extent of 5 to 15 percent and even results in loss of crop due to untimely rain during harvesting. Mechanical devices to harvest wheat and paddy crops have become popular especially in northern India to minimize the field losses resulting from shattering, unfavourable weather conditions and pilferage.

383 - 538 (156 Pages)
8 Forage Harvesting Equipment

Forage harvesting is more complex as compared to grain crops. Forage crop is of great bulk and mass, containing 70-80% water when first harvested. For storage it must be dried, either naturally or artificially, to a safe moisture content of about 20 to 25%. Due to low product value it limits the economic feasibility of mechanization of harvesting operation. The mowers are used to cut the crop and windrow in the field, which is manually collected for further chopping. The forage harvester consists of a combination of plant-cutting unit and a chopping unit and is called field forage harvester. The field forage harvester performs the functions of both row binder and silage cutter, as it severs the standing stalks from the ground and chops them into silage in one continuous operation in the field. It can be grouped into two according to the mechanism used to cut the crop viz. field choppers and flail harvesters.

539 - 570 (32 Pages)
9 Farm Tools and Equipment for Horticulture, Plantation and Hill Agriculture

9.1 Farm Tools and Equipment for Horticulture and Plantation Crops Agriculture in India is one of the most prominent sectors in its economy. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounts for about 14% of the GDP and employed 60% of the country’s population. About 43% of India’s geographical area is used for agricultural activity. Despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, agriculture is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socioeconomic development of India. Nearly 80 percent of the farm population operates smallholdings, the average size of holding being 1.16 ha. Out of a total geographical area of 329 m ha, about 142 m ha constitute the net sown area. Nearly 63 percent of this area is rainfed and its contribution to the overall production is 44%.

571 - 650 (80 Pages)
10 Farm Tools and Equipment for Dryland Agriculture

Indian agriculture is predominantly a rainfed agriculture under which both dry farming and dry land agriculture is included. Dry farming was the earlier concept for which amount of rainfall (less than 500 mm annually) remained the deciding factor for more than 50 years. In modern concept, dry land areas are those where the balance of moisture is always on the deficit side. In other words, annual evapo-transpiration exceeds precipitation. In dry land agriculture, there is no consideration of amount of rainfall. It may appear quiet strange to a layman that even those areas which receive 1100 mm or more rainfall annually fall in the category of dry land agriculture under this concept. The success of crop production in these areas depends on the amount and distribution of rainfall, as these influences the stored soil moisture and moisture used by crops. The amount of water used by the crop and stored in the soil is governed by the water balance equation: ET = P-(R+S). When the balance of the equation shifts towards right, precipitation (P) is higher than ET, so that there may be water logging or it may even lead to run off (R) and flooding (S). On the other hand, if the balance shifts to the left, ET becomes higher then the precipitation, resulting in drought in the various severity. Taking the country as a whole, as per meteorological report, severe drought in large area is experienced once in 50 years and partial drought in five years while floods are expected every year in one part of the country or the other, especially during rainy season. In fact the balance of the equation is controlled by the weather, season, crops and cropping pattern. Out of 142 million ha of net sown area in the country, rainfed agriculture is practiced in 95 million ha (67%). Nearly 67 m ha of rainfed area falls in the mean annual precipitation range of 500-1500 mm.

651 - 662 (12 Pages)
11 Straw Management Equipment

There are many environmental risks associated with stubble burning. Thus the adoption of alternative straw management strategies is the best interest of all concerned. Key points when considering harvesting surplus cereal straw are: i) maintain sufficient crop residue on the land to protect the soil from erosion. This can be accomplished by keeping the stubble standing particularly after seeding; ii) harvest surplus crop residue with an appropriate frequency so as not to lower soil organic matter, soil fertility and crop productivity; and iii) fertilize crops according to soil test recommendations. The decision regarding the amount of straw to be removed should be based on the inherent value of the straw for maintaining the viability of the cropping system and protecting the soil resource versus the value of the straw for other uses (e.g., feed and bedding for livestock, industrial strawboard and feedstock for alternative energy forms). The value of retaining the straw on the land is difficult to determine but should be based on a number of factors such as: value of straw for soil erosion control; equivalent fertilizer value of the nutrients contained within the straw; value of the straw for building soil organic matter, soil quality, and soil tilth; and value of the straw for soil moisture conservation (Singh et al., 2003; Singh et al., 2009). At harvest, it is best to chop the straw as fine as possible and spread both the straw and chaff across in the field. A number of equipment have been developed for managing the straw in the field and discussed here.

663 - 692 (30 Pages)
12 End Pages

List of Manufacturers Who have supported in writing of this book through photographs and drawings


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