In this article, Emily Harrinson looks at agricultural and construction machinery.
Agricultural & construction machinery carries out many different tasks on the farm.
And it may be important to recognise which one is best for each task, depending on what type of land you are working with (forest or field) and what crops you wish to plant (grain, hay, etc.).
Some of the most common agricultural & construction machinery types are disc harrows, rotary hoes, seeders, fertiliser spreaders, and tractors.
I. Disc Harrows
This equipment is used for breaking up soil that has already been tilled; it makes new ground ready for planting.
The disc harrow can also be rotated 90 degrees so that it can smooth out rough on plowed land or lightly cover seeds. Disc harrows are useful for tilling soils that contain too many stones or roots, but they can also break up soil that is already nice and friable if not used correctly.
This equipment is most helpful when the soil is tilled has large stones, and the planting area is on flat ground (not hilly or very rocky).
It can also help mix fertiliser into the soil. However, it may not be necessary if your soil is not very rocky, if it is already loose and smooth, or if you will only use it for a light cover.
If you plan to dethatch an area with this equipment, make sure that you can carry out this task more than once before seeding, as the disc harrow will destroy any vegetation!
II. Rotary Hoes
You can use rotary hoes to prepare land that has been broken up with a spade. The primary purpose of this equipment is to loosen the soil, remove weeds, and level the ground so that the seeder/fertiliser spreader can distribute seed or fertiliser evenly. Also, it is possible to use these hoes to till up more than one acre of soil at a time.
Rotary hoes are usually necessary when you will be planting on the existing ground that has been spaded up but not tilled.
If there are any clumps in the area where you intend to plant, rotary hoes will help smooth out the surface for an even distribution of seed or fertiliser across your field.
They may not be necessary if you have already tilled up your soil with a disc harrow so that it is nice and smooth.
III. Seeders/Fertiliser Spreaders
These two pieces of equipment can be combined into one machine because their functions are similar.
A seeder sows seeds after they have been distributed evenly throughout the ground by a fertiliser spreader. When you use this equipment for sowing grass seed, you can apply the herbicide at the same time.
Seeders/fertilizer spreaders necessary are usually necessary if you have not tilled up your land with either disc harrows or rotary hoes first.
They will ensure that your seeds or fertiliser are distributed evenly across your planting area.
You can skip these machines if you already have a nice smooth planting surface and your seeds or fertilisers are not in need of any distribution.
You can use tractors for a wide variety of tasks, from ploughing up land to harvesting crops.
Depending on the soil condition and the type of farming activity needed afterwards, they may also be used in place of disc harrows or rotary hoes.
Since there are so many different types of tractors, it is best to contact a local dealer to find out which one would work best for which task.
This equipment is necessary if you have a large area that needs to be tilled or if the soil has too many stones, roots, or clumps. In some circumstances, they can even take the place of a disc harrow or rotary hoe, depending on what kind of task you need them for. If your soil is not very rocky and there are not any big chunks in it, using a seeder/fertiliser spreader instead of a tractor would probably be better.
How to choose the right agricultural & construction machinery on the farm
There are many different pieces of equipment that you can use for tilling up land so that seeds or fertiliser get distributed evenly.
The choice depends on what type of soil is being worked on and what kind of task will be carried out afterwards.
Here are some questions that may guide your selection of the best equipment:
- How rocky is the soil? If there are not many big chunks in it, a seeder/fertiliser spreader and rotary hoe will do the job well enough. If there are lots of stones and clumps, you will need to use a tractor. Disc harrows will not work as well because pushing all those stones into the ground would be too time-consuming for such a small area.
- What kind of farming activity will you carry out afterwards? You can skip using seeders/fertiliser spreaders if you are just planting grass seed, but remember that herbicide will still need to be applied by hand since this equipment does not apply any chemicals. Vertical tillage would be the best choice of equipment, but it is not necessary if you are planning to do some broadcasting of seeds instead of seeding.
- Is the area very large? Using a tractor might save you time, depending on what kind of task is being done afterwards and how rocky the soil is. Make sure that your tractor’s power matches up with the size of the job at hand; otherwise, you may end up wasting time on overworking or underworking your machinery.
- Is there any need for distribution? This is where all three pieces of equipment will come in handy; use rotary hoes for loosening clumps, Disc harrows for smoothing out areas that are already tilled, and tractors for covering larger areas. Plus, using a seeder/fertiliser spreader and tractor together can save you some time by applying both seeds and fertiliser at the same time.
The bottom line
In the end, it all comes down to what kind of soil you are working with and how rocky it is. Vertical tillage will provide a smooth area for seeding grass but will not be able to do anything about clumps or stones in the soil.
Using a rotary hoe can loosen up those clumps, so they are not as much of an issue after seeding.
However, if there are too many stones in your soil, a tractor may have to take its place instead of either equipment.
Other articles on That’s Farming: