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August 23, 2020
Used for the production of food through crops and animals, the processes of agriculture play a major impact in our modern society. Through technology, food production techniques have advanced giving farmers the ability to increase crop and livestock output and reduce time spent on manual labor. The technology I will discuss today is popular agricultural equipment used for the seeding, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation, and harvesting of crops. From the historic use of plows and livestock to the diesel powered tractor, we have come a long way and below we will highlight a few of the machines used in agriculture today:
1. Cultivator – This equipment is used to break up and mix the upper layer of topsoil. The purpose of this action is to aerate the soil before a seed is planted increasing the nutrients to help the crop grow. It also can be used after crops have been planted to kill weeds which stunt crop growth. Cultivators can be a small single self propelled unit or an attachment that can be pulled by a tractor for large crop beds. Early farming practices would complete this process with a hoe or mattock.
2. Planter – Depositing seeds into prepared soil used to be a job done by hand that was very time consuming and labor intensive. Now farmers have the ability to tow planters/seeders with tractors to spread seed over a large area in a much more reasonable amount of time. This is done by planters which align in rows which vary in width and release seed in a very precise fashion.
3. Field Sprayer – To protect crops from insects and other pests, large field sprayers are used to disperse herbicides and pesticides over large crop beds. These units spray a liquid based fluid over the crops with a unit commonly being pulled by tractor. There are also smaller units available for smaller field or gardens.
4. Harvester – A harvester is used to gather crops. It is a large motorized vehicle with an attachment on the front which varies dependant upon the crop being gathered. This equipment is extremely valuable as many have dual purposes. For example, a combine harvesters, used for grain, can do three jobs at one time. This equipment reaps, threshes, and winnows all at the same time. There are also special harvesters for beans, carrots, potatoes, and corn. In addition, once the crops are gathered it leaves behind straw which can be gathered by bale to feed livestock.
5. Tractor – There are not many jobs on the farm where this powerhouse of efficiency can’t be utilized. From the tilling and cultivating of the land, to seed planting, to pest control, the tractor is the most versatile and commonly used piece of equipment in agriculture. Depending upon the farming needs, tractors come in various sizes and vary in power. Deciding between the four wheel drive 12 wheel tractor or the small 4 wheel garden variety is just one of the many choices farmers must make to maximize their output.
Although this list is not all inclusive, most of the equipment shared is what you will find agricultural professionals using on a daily basis. With the responsibility of feeding the nation, we like to leave these individuals to do what they do best. We exist to keep their equipment running smoothly, efficiently, and get them the best return on their investment by helping with the durability.