Get ready to play the field! Here are some awesome pieces of farm equipment which are sure to make you want to go out and plow something!
Farming has been a part of human existence ever since the very first animals and plants were domesticated. The earliest farming techniques utilized crudely made tools which have evolved over millennia into the high-tech, high-power, highly specialized machinery used on farms today.
There is no doubt that farming has always been a labor intensive activity. Most farmers will agree, however, that it is also acutely rewarding. Plus, thanks to modern farm equipment, the time and energy spent preparing the land, planting and reaping are now significantly reduced. As a result, farmers can experience an increase in the quality and quantity of their produce, while also enjoying greater return on their investment.
For instance, while harvesting any crop is essentially the same process, there are machines which harvest specific crops, guaranteeing minimum waste and maximum yield. Some are designed for harvesting underground produce, while others are intended for gathering surface crops. Are any of them "cropping up" in your head? Get started and see if we thought of them, too!
So, is your mind fertile ground when it comes to the wide range of farm equipment out there? If it is, then you are sure to ace this quiz! Prove you've got more than manure for brains - take the quiz!
The development of the modern tractor can be traced back to the late 1800s when the first steam-powered plowing engine was developed. By the early 1900s, tractors were being made with internal combustion engines and automobile companies became the primary tractor manufacturers.
The sickle is an ancient farming implement which is still used in many regions around the world. It is characterized by its short handle, curved blade and its use to simultaneously cut and gather grain.
Plows are essential farming equipment used to break up the soil while turning it over. Plows pulled by humans and animals have been used in farming for millennia before tractor-pulled plows were developed. The digging stick was the prehistoric tool used before the plow.
Front-end loaders used in farming are typically small tractors designed with a multipurpose bucket at the front. Some models allow you to add a tooth bar to the edge of the bucket, turning it into a handy digging machine. Others are made so that the bucket can be interchanged with other equipment such as pallet forks or bale spears.
The scythe was developed as a more convenient form of the sickle. For example, its longer handle saves the reaper from having to bend while using the tool.
The term “backhoe” refers to the digging bucket and the arm on which it swings. Thus, some vehicles, such as tractors, can double as both a backhoe and a front-end loader. When the vehicle is designed to carry only a backhoe, then it is called an excavator.
The large number and shape of the teeth on the spring-tooth harrow make it efficient for cultivating (digging into, breaking up and turning over) rough and stony soil. It also works very well when there are bulky tree roots in the soil and the machine must cultivate around them.
Wooden shovels have been discovered which date back to approximately 2,000 BCE. Before these early tools, archeologists believe people used the shoulder and pelvic bones of large animals for digging and removing soil.
A roller is typically used on a field after it has been plowed to break up and flatten the raised soil without packing it. Rolling makes weed control easier, plus the soil is now better at retaining moisture.
The first combine harvester made for commercial use was developed in 1885. It does the job of three sets of farm workers by first reaping or cutting down the plants and then beating them to separate the grain from the inedible chaff. Thirdly, it removes chaff and any other debris which might be among the grains – a process known as winnowing.
Pitchforks are typically characterized by their long handles and curved tines. They are traditionally made with either two tines, which experienced users can skillfully wield, or with three tines which provide more grip for the less-experienced user.
Sprayers are used to apply liquids such as fertilizer to crops. They come in different forms, including ones worn as backpacks and others which are pulled through the field. Larger self-propelled sprayers are sometimes fitted with sensors to automatically adjust the height of the sprayer above the crops being treated.
The baler is used on hay or similar material to compress, gather and form it into either round or rectangular bales. Each bale produced by a large baler can weigh up to 2,200 pounds.
The disc harrow is a soil preparation tool used after a field has been plowed to break up clods and make the soil more uniform. The discs are mounted in groups, called gangs, on steel shafts and the whole assembly can then be pulled along by a tractor.
The rotary mower used in agriculture has sharp rotating blades which it uses to cut through weeds and parts of plants. It is very similar in design to a type of lawn mower, but is typically pulled and powered by a tractor.
The seed drill makes a hole of a predetermined depth, sows a specific number of seeds in the hole and covers the hole with soil. The whole process may seem very complicated and modern, but the earliest seed drill actually dates back to Mesopotamia in 2, 000 BCE.
Cotton pickers come in two general types, both of which function very differently. One is the stripper picker, which removes most of the plant material along with all cotton bolls. The other is the spindle picker, which only takes up the opened bolls and leaves unopened ones on the plant to mature.
The potato harvester is specially designed to dig up potatoes and separate them from whatever soil is collected in the process. It does this with minimal damage to the potatoes and with just a few potatoes left behind. There are some potato harvesters which can be used effectively for other types of underground crops such as peanuts, onions and garlic.
The pickup truck is one type of farm truck which gets put to a wide variety of uses. Farmers can choose to add a trailer to their pickup truck or purchase one with a long bed for carrying bulky items. A good-quality pickup truck can transport heavy equipment and supplies or perhaps, workers around the farm.
The planter is used for precision sowing of relatively large seeds, for example corn and other cereals. When the seeds are small, the farmer will most likely use a seed drill, instead. Planters differ in the number of rows they can sow in one pass, with some planters capable of sowing over 40 rows at a time.
There are many benefits to using a post-hole digger as opposed to a shovel when making post holes. One of these is that whereas a shovel produces a wide hole of irregular shape, the post-hole digger makes a hole which is cylindrical and narrow, offering better support for the sides and base of the pole.
Animal or plant manure can be applied to a field as fertilizer for growing plants. The manure is loaded onto the spreader which is pulled across the field by a tractor and has a mechanism for evenly distributing the manure along the way.
After a field has been plowed, it is sometimes necessary to go over it with a stone picker to remove stones and rocks. This makes the soil better for planting in and helps to prevent damage to other farm equipment, such as harvesters, as they move across the field.
The metal cutters (or flails) on the flail mower are usually shaped like a “T” or a “Y.” They are loosely hinged to its rotating drum and so, instead of pitching up objects, such as rocks, which they hit against, they are more likely to bounce off.
Hay has the tendency to grow mold if it is collected into bales while still damp. The hay tedder is attached to the back of a tractor and used to spread out the hay, which aerates it and allows it to dry out sufficiently for baling.
The sugarcane harvester combines several steps of the reaping process into one. It cuts the stalks low to the ground, strips away the leaves, and then chops the stalks into smaller pieces. Some harvesters have space to store the cut pieces of sugarcane while others transfer them to a second vehicle which travels alongside the harvester.
The swather is pulled along by a tractor to cut hay and form it into long rows as the tractor moves across the field. The freshly mown strips are called swathes while the rows of hay are called windrows. For this reason, a swather is called a windrower in some parts of the world. The swather also works on small grain crops.
The hay rake is another tractor attachment which can be used on hay before a baler comes along. It is used to make windrows (rows of cut hay) which can be spread out again by a hay tedder if the need arises.
Many broadcast spreaders work with a rotary action to fling seeds (particularly grass seeds) far and wide across a field. Apart from seeds, the broadcast spreader can be used with a variety of other substances such as granular herbicides and fertilizers.
The bean harvester has a series of shakers, beaters and fans which it uses to thresh and clean the beans after reaping. Waste material is passed out of the back of the machine by means of a spreader.
The wood chipper helps the farmer to recycle wood (tree trunks, limbs and roots) by turning them into either wood chips or sawdust. The woodchips can then be used as mulch around plants or to line walkways around the farm.
The gravity wagon can be loaded with crops (such as grain) or material (such as fertilizer) and then pulled behind a tractor to whichever location they are needed. Unloading the gravity wagon is easy since its sloping sides allow whatever it is carrying to be gravity fed through the wagon’s door.
Some crops must be first grown as seedlings in one location then, when they are mature enough, they are taken out to the field to be transplanted. One specialized type of this machine is the rice transplanter which is used in paddy fields.
The grinder-mixer is a type of all-in-one machine. The farmer uses it to make granular livestock feed out of a combination of grain and other ingredients.
The drag harrow is used to level the soil after it has been plowed. Its teeth can be adjusted for various degrees of penetration into the soil. The drag harrow can also be used for leveling out mulch or gravel.
Transplanting a tree was once a labor-intensive process with a high risk of damage to the plant. The tree spade is an easy and effective way to uproot, transport and replant large trees.
The chaser bin is towed by a tractor which drives alongside a harvester. The harvester continually empties into the chaser bin as they move across the field. Grain cart and auger wagon are two other names used for the chaser bin.
A bale wrapper takes individual bales of hay and wraps them in plastic for storage. By using plastic, the farmer can store hay with a higher percentage of moisture and more nutritive value for the livestock it will be fed to.