Farm Machinery And Implements: Description, Functions/Uses, Repairs And Maintenance

Agricultural Science

Farm Machinery And Implements

Farm machinery includes various types of machines and implements used in the farm. These include tractors, ploughs, harrows, cultivators, ridgers, planters, harvesters, shellers, dryers, sprayers, incubators. The most important implement or machine in the farm, which is used for operating many farm implements is the tractor.

Examples of farm machines are tractor, bulldozer, tree puller, sheller, dryer, incubator and milking machine.

1. Tractor

Description:

1. The tractor is a powerful and expensive multi-purpose motor vehicle used for lifting or pulling farm implements.

2. It is equipped with a governor system.

3. It has a power-take off (P.T.O) shaft used in drawing farm implements like ploughs, harrows, harvesters, planters, etc.

4. It has hydraulic control system which lifts mounted implements under the control.

Functions/Uses Of The Tractor

1. Transportation of farm inputs, materials and farm produce/haulage with trailer attached.

2. It operates water pumps for irrigation or other farm purposes.

3. Lifting coupled implements through the hydraulic system.

4. Pulling of farm implements like ploughs, etc.

5. Tilling the soil with appropriate implement attached.

Daily Maintenance Of Tractor

Maintenance practices that can be carried out daily on the tractor include the following:

1. Keep the tractor clean by removing all trashed or mud from it at the start or at the end of operations.

2. Check water levels daily and top it when necessary.

3. Check oil level daily and top when necessary.

4. Check tyre pressures daily before operations.

5. Inspect the tractor every day before starting.

Periodic Maintenance Of Tractor

Maintenance practices that should be carried out periodically or at regular intervals on the tractor include the following:

1. The tractor should be serviced at regular intervals.

2. Worn-out tyres should be replaced and tyre pressure guaged regularly.

3. Ensure that nuts, screws or shield are checked and tightened at regular intervals.

4. Replace worn-out or weld broken parts of the tractor.

5. Always park the tractor in a shed.

2. Bulldozers

Description

1. Bulldozers are powerful tractors and expensive machines with a broad steel blade or sheet at the front.

2. It has tract-type metal chains, used for its movement.

3. It consists of internal combustion engine which uses petrol or diesel.

4. The bulldozers which has track metal chains moves by the aid of driving sprocket, track rollers and idler rollers.

Functions/Uses Of Bulldozer

1. It is used for bush clearing.

2. It is used for felling trees and stumps.

3. It is used for levelling the ground.

4. It is also used to construct roads on the farms and in rural areas.

5. It is used for moving and collection of earth.

Maintenance Of Bulldozer

The maintenance of bulldozer is the same with that of tractor.

3. Tree Pullers

Description: The tree puller is a machine just like the tractor or bulldozer. It has the ability to move on the soil surface with minimal disturbances on the top soil. It also has a unique feature of pulling up trees from their stands with minimal disturbances of the rich top soil. It is recommended for use instead of the bulldozer.

4. Shellers

Description: These are machines operated electrically, mechanically or manually. It is made up of a hopper, bucket, a winder and a drum with rubber or metal spikes. Shellers are of different types, made to suit the type of crops to be shelled. It is a processing machine used to separate dry grains at 10% moisture content from the cob of maize.

Functions: Shellers are used mainly to separate the seeds from the husk or cob. In other words, shellers are used in removing the hard, outer covering of nuts, grains (rice, maize, cowpea), etc.

5. Dryers: These are farm machines used to reduce moisture content of commodities such as grains, cocoa, etc. It operates by electricity.

Functions Of Dryers

1. It is used for drying plant materials, e.g, cocoa, beans, groundnuts, maize, etc.

2. It is also used for drying animal products such as meat.

3. It generate heat or distributes heat which dries up or reduces moisture content of stored produce.

6. Incubators

Description: Incubators are made in varying sizes and designs. They use different types of fuel (e.g. Oil lamp, electricity, etc) to supply the heat required.

Functions: Incubators are machines used for hatching fertilised eggs artificially. It takes 21 days for fertilised eggs of domestic fowl to develop and hatch in incubators.

Tractor-Coupled Implements

These are implements which are coupled or attached to a tractor in order to enable it to perform its work. Examples of tractor coupled implements are ploughs, harrows, ridgers, planters, cultivators, harvesters, sprayer, mower, baler, fertilizer applicator and harvester.

1. The Plough: The plough is a primary tillage (or soil cultivation) implement. It is the first implement required in land preparation. It is mainly driven by either work animals or tractor.

2. Harrows: Harrow is a secondary implement also used for land preparation. It is used immediately after ploughing and before ridging.

3. Ridgers: The ridger is a secondary soil cultivation implement used for land preparation. It is used after harrow and before planter.

4. Planters: The planter has a large container or hopper. It is designed primarily to plant seeds of crops such as cotton, maize, guinea corn, beans etc.

5. Sprayers: These are types of equipment designed to spray certain chemicals in various farm operations.

6. Harvesters: These are machines or implements designed primarily to facilitate the process of harvesting various crops.

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