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Benefits Of Farm Machinery Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 3329 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Man as a power unit is futile and nonproductive. He is confined to about 0.1 horse power uninterrupted turnout, hence account almost nothing as a source of power. Thus if a farmer wants to create an ample output from his labor he must be an efficient producer. Undoubtedly this efficiency will rely on the substitution of human and livestock labor with machinery. This replacement is termed as farm mechanization. Actually farm mechanization is any on-farm operation which carries some of following goals like 1- to increase the production, 2- tone down the cost of production, 3- improve quality of farm produce, 4- increase turnout per farm worker, 5- make the farm life easy and enjoyable, 6- stabilize the clumsy labor peaks.

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Farm mechanization is sociological-cum-technological complex. Some people of our country theorize that mechanization will fallout in unemployment, thus they perceive that it is an opulence of wealthy nations. Some others think that it bears lot of benefits so should be adopted on a large scale. Still some canvass for partial mechanization of their farms. Later idea of partial mechanization looks economically conceivable.

In past few decades many developing countries have begun agricultural and livestock farming powered by machines rather by animals and human labor and in this regard Pakistan is no exception. The trend of mechanization is bound to go up with the passage of time in a natural evolutionary manner. A general awakening among the farmers about different aspects of farm mechanization does exist. Work has started on various fronts to implement the concepts of mechanization.

Combine farming System:

Now a days concept of combine farming system is gaining popularity. According to this concept a farmer runs both livestock and agricultural farm at the same time. Benefit is that he obtains fodder and other ingredients used in concentrate formulation from agricultural section while fertilizer for his crops from the livestock section.

Problems of the Livestock Sector:

Mastitis is the major limitation for our milk animals. It has two forms clinical and sub-clinical. Clinical form is visually detectable and can be treated but problem arises in case of sub-clinical form which can not be unmasked at earlier stage. Thus milk quality becomes compromised causing economic losses.

Second issue is failing to detect estrus by the farmer in time and breeding the animals. Furthermore silent heat is also a contributing factor resulting in failure to breed animals in time and delay in getting calf. Both are detrimental in achieving desired livestock farming goals.

Another dilemma in livestock farming is to diagnose pregnant animals. It is necessary to know about the status of animal to provide it proper nursing care and feed accordingly or sometime to sell it.

Moreover milking time and labor required, medications, restraining, routine farm chores like castration, dehorning, shearing, clipping, identification marks and reducing heat stress all seek solutions in some sort of machinery or equipment which should be reliable and trustworthy.

Possible Solution in Form of Machinery:

Device for Detection of Mastitis:

To detect mastitis in its earliest stage an electrical device (fig.1) can be used having sensors built in it which are able to sense instant changes in electrical resistance produced by somatic cells in mastitic milk. By incorporating this device in mastitis control program one can be able to treat it before permanent damage to secretory tissue and economic losses to keep from happening. Some diagnostic tests for sub-clinical mastitis exist but they become laborious and expensive as well on herd basis.

Device for Detection of Estrus:

It is necessary to know exactly the time when animal ovulates to breed them. For this purpose a device (Fig.2) which senses electrical changes in vaginal fluids due to hormonal concentrations can be used. It has got a probe which is inserted in vagina and then reading is taken. Reading will be 260 when animal is going to ovulate (Fig.3). So to determine the exact moment for breeding one or two readings in days when animal is likely to come in heat rather than visually observing them will be more efficient.



Ultra Sound Machine:

It is essential to diagnose pregnancy earlier and to identify fertility problems at individual and herd level. By using ultrasound scanner it can be achieved by day 30 of gestation which is far earlier than rectal palpation. An accuracy of 99 percent can be achieved by using ultrasound added with the advantage of safety over rectal palpation which can harm the embryo at this stage.


Milking Machine:

It is actually a mechanism designed to suck milk from udder of milking animal. It consists of teat cups, claw, vacuum tubes, and source of vacuum, pulsator and milk tube. Two types are being used one which is fixed and installed in shed or pen and second is portable and can be moved anywhere at farm quite easily. Use of milking machine is gaining importance as it is time and labor saving and assures hygienic collection of milk. Its use on herd basis also reduces mastitis cases if properly maintained and implemented carefully.

Fig.5 Portable Milking Machine

Mobile Feeding Trough:

Certain conditions have been observed in field that animal graze at pasture where there is no arrangement for drinking water and concentrate feeding. So for this purpose animal are brought to the shed for some time and again sent to graze. To solve this problem a trough can be mounted on wheels and drawn with a small tractor to provide concentrate, minerals and water to the animals at their grazing place.

Sprinkler machine:

Temperature may override 45°C in our country during summer months and our main dairy animal buffalo is more sensitive to heat stress than cows and other animals. This is reason for an increased number of deaths due to heat stroke cases in these months. So to provide protection against high environmental temperature sprinkler may be used to shower water on animals.

Nipple waterer:

It is an implement to provide water to the animals automatically. It helps to ensure availability of fresh clean drinking water and saves wastage of water by the animals.

Besides all these machine there is a long list of equipments which can be used on a livestock farm to make the farm operations easy. But here we are going to enlist those which are most needed.

They include

Burdizzo castrator: This gives several advantages over surgical methods when a large number of calves, rams or buck are to be castrated. It provides bloodless castration and safety from post operative contamination of wounds.

Bull nose holder and rings: Nose holder can be used when animal has to be restrained temporarily while nose rings are applied for permanent restraint and then rope or chain can be attached to ring when animal is required to move somewhere.

Mouth gag: It is used to keep the mouth of animal open for examination of mouth or some other medical purposes.

Anti Cow Kicker and Anti Kick Bar: These are used to immobilize the animals while injecting some medicine or rectal palpation. (Fig.6)


Electric Dehorner: This is used to disbud the calves at an early age when horns are not attached to the skull and are floating buds. It burns them and there further growth is restricted.

Shearing and Hair Clipping Machines: Former one is used to trim the sheep wool usually and previous one is used to clip the hairs of certain region to avoid contamination. For example udder or area around genital organs.

Tattooing forceps and Ear Notcher: Tattooing forceps are used to make identification marks and ear notcher is used to make V-shaped cut on ear of animal. This will be helpful in record keeping and recognizing the animals individually.

Drenching and Balling Guns: These are beneficial in administering medicines. Drenching gun to give liquid solution and balling gun to give boluses.

Problems of Agricultural Sector:

Now a days progress in agricultural sector does not seems to be possible without using new agricultural implements. It is necessary to have new implements at farm and also to use them properly to get maximum utility. According to an estimate approximately 80% of farmer of our country don’t know about latest agricultural implements. The implements which have gained popularity and wide use as tractor plows are cultivator and disc harrows. Hardly anywhere in world these are used as plows. Matter of truth is that for plowing purposes commonly used implements are mould board plows and disc plows, while cultivator is used as secondary tillage implement for tilling ground, stirring and aerating soil as well as for intercultural operation. It has also been noticed that in heavy soil a hard pan is created at a very shallow depth due to the continued use of cultivator and harrow for purpose of plowing. This pan creates problems of inadequate penetration of roots; improper drainage on account of incorrect use of implements optimum result can not be expected.

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It is also miserable that our farmer is wasting much water because of his ill planed and unleveled farms and ditches. Our farmers do level their field by means of ‘Karah’ without applying engineering techniques and naturally field lacks precise leveling. Even slight surface undulation of few inches in fields creates high and low spots resulting in water holding in low patches and less water supply in higher spots. Consequences of both are detrimental.

Possible Solution in Form of Machinery:

Agricultural implements are broadly categorized in primary and secondary tillage implements, general agricultural implements and instruments for land leveling. Tillage is actually working with soil by implements as that mechanical soil stirring actions carried on to provide conditions favorable to growth of crop.

Primary tillage implements (used in initial preparation of land) include:

Subsoiler which is used where soil compaction is present and hard pan is formed in field. It breaks and looses the soil. It can be used with 45 horse power tractor and can work up to 24 inches deep. Chisel plow can be used where upper layer of soil is fertile but deeper layer is not so much fertile instead it may contain more minerals. It can plow at depth of 20 inches. Use of chisel plow will improve soil fertility by providing space, natural elements like sunlight and rain to roots of plants. It may require 50-85 horse power tractors. Disk plows will serve to mix the left over crop roots and weeds in soil properly and is suitable for rain-fed areas as it prevents soil erosion by wind and water.


Secondary tillage implements include:

Disk harrow that helps to prepare seed bed by making the soil granular as it is more suitable structure for plant growth. Soil aeration and moisture conservation capacity improves and weeds are mixed in soil and decompose so used as fertilizer. Cultivator is also called tine tiller. It is used to stir and pulverize the soil before planting, to decamp the weeds and improving soil aeration after crop is grown. Rotavator is used to prepare the land for next crop after previous crop has taken. It is better to use it before planting wheat, cotton, maize and guar. It breaks the soil and mixes the stems, stubbles and other unwanted weeds which after decomposing serve as fertilizer.


General agricultural implements include:

Ditcher is used to make ditches (furrow or trench) for soil irrigation and also for correction of already made trenches. Border disk or Bund former is used to make border around the cultivated land for separation. It will help to reduce loss of water. Ridger is used to make small ridges (crests) at equal distances for crop planting.


Instruments for land leveling:

In our country most of farmers level their lands by manual methods using land scraper and land planer. In this method land is not accurately leveled. In 1976-77 program of water management was launched by government. In this program a method was deviced to level land with dumpy level, land scraper and land planer. But it gained no popularity because it requires lot of efforts, time and does not yield excellent results. Now laser technology for land leveling is available which most accurate method is. It is a thumb rule in aeration by land leveling that difference of not more than 2 cm should be present between any two points of field. In our country 5-10 cm or more is observed. Laser land leveling system three main components 1- transmitter which rotates and emits rays and is applied anywhere in field to be leveled 2- receiver which is installed on land scraper behind tractor, it first receives signal by transmitter and sends to the interface unit 3- hydraulic system of tractor which works according to command of interface unit and automatically uses land scraper to level the land.


Besides land leveling irrigation practices can also be improved by using new methods like irrigation by sprinkler and drip irrigation. In former method water is sprinkled over the crop by pipelines and in drip irrigation a network of pipelines is installed in the land and water is provided drop by drop to roots of plants by nozzles. Both are helpful in reducing water losses.

Drill machine:

Drilling refers to mechanized sowing of seed. Before introduction of seed drill sowing, this is a wasteful method. Seed drill is a device used to precisely position the seed at equal distance and cover them with soil. It ensures sowing of crop in time reduces cost of production and improves seed germination and yields.

Fig.11 Seed drill

Fertilizer Band Placement drill:

In our country fertilizer is also applied by broadcast method by which only 15-25% is utilized by crop. Seeder-cum-fertilizer drills being used apply fertilizer either too far from seed or too near to it. Both affect seed germination and reduce yield. So fertilizer band placement drill was created by farm machinery institute, NARC Islamabad. It applies fertilizer at distance of 5cm and 5cm lower than the seed. In this way crop utilizes 60-70% more efficiently.


Harvesting machine:

Wheat and rice are main food crops in our country as well as their by products are used in concentrate making for cattle and buffalo. During harvesting season of both shortage of labor is observed through out country. So after applying lot of efforts it becomes necessary to get crops in time and reduce losses. To fulfill this deficiency a harvesting machine should be used which cuts and aligns these crops, harvested rows are then picked up by laborers. It is and intermediate method between manual and mechanized harvesting.

Threshing machine:

After harvesting wheat crop is flailed in threshing machine. This machine has threshing drum in which beater or cutter shaft is revolved at a very high speed by attaching it with tractor or high capacity electric motor. Grains are separated and chopped straw plus grains fall on sieve having pore size of 5 mm, thus allowing only grains to fall on second sieve below with pore size of 2 mm. Straw is blown out by fans and collected. From second sieve only dust particles, stones or any other foreign material less than 2mm size falls and fine grains are obtained.

Combine harvesting technology:

A latest technology to save time and labor required is to harvest and thresh crops at the same time. This technology has combined three tasks in single operation i.e. cutting, binding and then flailing. Its use is limited to few government farms currently in our country.

Chopping machine for wheat straw:

Harvesting machines only pick up upper portion of crop that is grains and leave high stem. Many farmers in our country burn left over straw in fields which damages organic matter of soil and also wastes wheat straw that can be fed to cattle. So after taking wheat crop chopping machine should be used in field to collect all the straw left behind. It picks up straw and cuts high stubbles, after chopping blows processed straw in separate trolley.



It is vehicle-cum-machine, bears lot of power to do a variety of farm operations, and has many benefits for the farmer. It is used to pull all agricultural implements, most of agricultural machinery and to transport heavy goods. Many types of tractors like Massey Ferguson, FIAT, Belarus and ford are being used in our country but only two types Massey Ferguson and FIAT are most popular and have achieved 80% deletion. FIATs are available in 55-85 horse power range and Massey Ferguson is available in 50-85 horse power. Each model has unique characteristics like power steering, number of cylinders, disk brakes and four wheeler.

Machine for Hay Conditioning:

Hay is sun dried fodder with less than 20% moisture. During the time it takes to dry it is also subject to environmental factors like temperature, wind velocity, soil moisture, solar radiation and relative humidity. So processing time should be reduced. In developed countries a machine for hay conditioning is being used which has rollers made up of plastic usually and crushes fodder crop and aligns in rows. By crushing action 1- time to dry reduces by 50% and hay will be less exposed to sun rays 2- plant is killed sooner and nutrients are preserved and resulting hay will be palatable.

Baling machine:

It is a type of machine which is used to make compact bales of already cut and raked crop. Mostly a baler which makes round bales is used.

Fodder chopping machine:

For harvesting and then chopping the fodder crop a tractor operated machine should be used which performs both action at the same time and puts chopped fodder in separate trolley known as chopper box that can be pulled by tractor to use as mobile feeder wagon for the purpose of filling manger in large sheds.



As population is increasing human needs for food are also increasing. Plant and animal proteins are integral part of our diet. So to meet these increasing demands for food definitely require some amendments in livestock and agricultural farming practices. Goal seems obvious that is to increase per animal production in case of livestock farming and production per acre in case of agricultural farming without compromising product quality in relatively shorter time. To accomplish this we have to reduce cost of production, labor involved and to increase output per farm worker. These goals can be satisfied by using machinery and new technology.

No doubt mechanization carries tremendous benefits with it but all the machinery is not in access of our small farmers. In case of large agricultural and livestock farms trends are being changed and labor is being replaced by machinery. Some efforts should be done by government to make costly machinery in reach of small farmer. Moreover farmers don’t know about all new options which are now available. So extension programs should be run for the awareness of farmers which may contain both objectives to introduce machinery and how to use it and get maximum output. Skilled technicians should be available to use them properly. To achieve this goal training programs should be started at government farms for farmer that are cost free. These recommendations will certainly improve status of farm mechanization in our country.


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