Agriculture is one of the oldest and most popular occupations. It has grown in leaps and bounds from simple procedures to modernized and highly mechanized agriculture. Tools used in this occupation have evolved from the use of hoes to the use of highly sophisticated machinery. Here is a sneak peak of farm equipment and tools.
Types of agricultural tools
A tractor is the most common type of agricultural tool in the modern day agricultural sector. Other tools include:
· Soil cultivation implements. They are used in preparing the land for planting. They include ploughs, rotators and harrows, among others.
· Planting. They put the seeds to the ground for germination once the land has been prepared. Examples of planting tools include broadcast seeder, rice transplanter and potato planter.
· Irrigating devices and machines. They help in irrigating the crops where there is little or no rainfall. Good examples here are sprinklers, drip irrigators and hydroponics
· Fertilizing and pest control machines such as slurry spreader and sprayer add more nutrients to the soil and keep crop pests and diseases at bay respectively.
· Produce sorters. They are used to sort products into various groups. They include blemish sorter, color sorter, density sorter and diameter sorter, among others.
· Harvesters. Once the produce is ready for harvesting, they remove it from the plant and make it ready for use or for sale. Combined harvesters are the most commonly used harvesters in large scale agriculture these days. Other harvesters include Grain cart conveyor belts, cotton pickers and grain dryers.
· Haymakers. Livestock requires properly prepared food for better produce. This necessitates the use of haymakers to prepare hay for use by livestock. Hay tedder, baler, bale wrapper and bale lifter are good examples of hay making tools. Hand hay tool can also be used where there are only a few cattle to be fed using hay.
· Animal feeders. After hay making is done, the grind mixer then assists in the feeding of livestock.
· Milking tools. Manual milking has been replaced by milking machines in large-scale dairy livestock agriculture. The milking pipeline and bulk tank are used together with the machine to make milking easy.
· Other machines. There are other machines that are applied to other levels of agriculture. Examples include aquatic weed harvester, yard scraper and mulching machine.
This list, is by no means exhaustive, as new and more improved equipment is being manufactured. It is important to note that some tools have become obsolete (for instance, the threshing machine, which has been replaced by the combined harvester). The more superior the tools used, the higher the agricultural produce and vice-versa.
Where to buy these tools
It is not easy to get a good deal when looking for agricultural machinery, especially if you are not a seasoned farmer. This does not mean that great deals do not exist. There several dealers of this type of implements who offer deals that make your purchase a real bargain. It is up to you to know where these dealers are. They are normally located near agricultural areas. Auctions are also good sources of cheap agricultural paraphernalia. It is also important to note that we are living in the digital era, where almost everything is done online. This means that you cannot miss any implement you need online. There is everything for everyone in most websites dealing in agricultural items, irrespective of the budget.
Maintenance begins immediately you buy an item. Indeed, if you have bought a tractor, wear and tear begin immediately you turn on the ignition for the first time. You, therefore, need professional expertise in assessing any tool that you want to buy, especially if it has been used previously. Ensure you have enough oil and grease for the moving parts and do not overuse a machine. When any tool breaks down, let it be prepared by specialists. Don't attempt to repair it yourself, lest to add an insult to the injury.
In summary, there have been great steps in the right direction in mechanizing contemporary agriculture and that is why the proliferation of agricultural machines has hit the ground running. Genetic engineering and other forms of agricultural technology have given the 21st century farming a very different dimension.