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BLE 211: Principles of Agriculture and Forestry

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1 BLE 211: Principles of Agriculture and Forestry
Lecture 6

2 Farm Structures Many Farm production processes must be carried out under more closely controlled conditions in order to maximize output. Animals often need to be protected from wind, rain and sun. Animals must also be kept in conditions where diseases and parasites are more readily controlled. Stored crops must be protected from damaging elements of water, excessive temperatures, insects and fungi. Farm machinery must be protected from rain and dirt and kept under conditions where corrosion and general degradation is kept to a minimum.

3 Categories of Farm structures
There are many types of structures on farms depending on the type of farming activities being carried out on the farm. The sizes of individual farm structures may in some cases be influenced by the size of the farming project they would be serving. On a large dairy farm, the milking parlour would be bigger and better developed than on a small dairy farm with only a few animals.

4 Categories of Farm structures
They include: Fences Livestock production structures Crop growing structures Farm Buildings Fences are used for: Marking boundaries of the farm Separating land selected for growing crops from that for pastures. Dividing pasture into paddocks for controlled grazing to be carried out. Controlling the movement of animals thus prevent the formation of unnecessary paths.

5 Forms of Fences Mainly two forms. Dead fences include
Live fences including Dead fences include Posts and wires (plain, woven, barbed or electric wires) Posts and wooden racks Stones Trench fences. Common near National parks and Game reserves. The trench should be fairly wide and deep enough to hold tightly any animal that falls into it. Live fences composed mainly of growing trees or shrubs Such fences are commonly called hedges or thorn fences. The most common trees or shrubs used are Mauritius thorn, Kei Apple, Euphorbia, Cypress, Cactus and Sisal.

6 Livestock Structures Livestock production structures facilitate various livestock production activities carried out on the farm These structures include: Handling structures such as crushes, spray races and Dips. They are used to control animals when applying chemicals to prevent ticks. Housing structures including dairy sheds, calf pens, rabbit hutches, piggery, and poultry pens, goats and sheep pens. They are constructed to shelter the specific animals from bad weather (wind, heat, rain, and cold). They also protect livestock from wild animals and thieves. They can also be used for feeding the animals.

7 Crop growing structures and Farm Buildings
Include the greenhouses and irrigation set-ups. They are used to modify the growing environment for the crops. Farm Buildings found on a typical farm include: Farm house for the farmer and his family Labour units for the workers Stores for harvested produce, animal feed and seeds Machinery sheds and workshops Factories for processing farm produce such as coffee, tea, sugarcane and sisal among other products.

8 Important factors when planning for Farm Structures
Total Farm Plan The various farm activities to be developed in the farm should be planned for. Size of enterprise Determines the size of the individual structure for that enterprise. The potential of the enterprise should be considered so that plans for future expansion of the enterprise can be made. Space Enough space should be left between farm buildings and the homestead to accommodate the type of transport system to be used on the farm. View The homestead should be located in such a way that it is possible to have a good view of the farm.

9 Important factors when planning for Farm Structures
Accessibility Structure should be easily accessible from most parts of the farm Structures with related uses should be put close together, should be easily accessible without the workers wasting a lot of time when moving from one structure to the other. Drainage Good drainage is of paramount importance to prevent the structures from being destroyed. Wind Direction The homestead should be situated away from the direction of the prevailing winds to avoid bad smells. Topography The structures should be located in a fairly level ground. A sloppy site may limit construction operations and levelling of such a site may be very expensive.

10 Farm Power The primary purpose of power units is to operate farm machinery and equipment for farming operations such as land preparation, cultivation, harvesting, processing, handling, pumping and transporting. These operations demand Tractive power to pull the equipment Rotative power to drive implements Pulley power to operate stationary machines Automotive power for haulage.

11 Categories of Power Units
There are three distinct categories of power units for operating farm equipment. They include Hand-power Animal-power Mechanical power. The extent to which use is made of each different type differs in different tropical countries.

12 Human/Hand-power This refers to the use of human labour to accomplish various tasks in the farm including land clearing, cultivation using a hand hoe, harvesting and simple transport by carrying loads on the head or back. This kind of power is exclusive to small-scale farmers who have no alternative but to do most of the jobs themselves. Disadvantages Human efficiency declines as the hours worked per day increase. It cannot cope with large acreages. Health condition of the workers influences the work done. It is in the long run more expensive because it is slower and more unpredictable than using machines.

13 Animal Power Effective use of animals as a source of power requires that they be in good health, be fully-grown and well fed. The animals including donkeys, camels, horses and oxen provide power for cultivation and transportation. Advantages of Animal power Does not require skilled workers as compared to engine power. Can transport heavier loads than hand-power and carry out other farm operations such as fetching water and fodder cutting for silage or hay. Animals operate very well where land is fragmented. The initial investment and maintenance costs of animals and their implements are lower than those of tractors and other machinery are. A larger acreage can be cultivated than is possible with human power.

14 Disadvantages of Animal Power
A big portion of land is required for grazing the animals as part of their maintenance. Animals tire quickly, thus reducing the amount of work to be done. The animals health will affect the amount of work done Animals damage crops when they are used for weeding. They are slower than tractors and other fuel powered machinery.

15 Mechanical Power Mechanical power units on the farm include:
The internal combustion engine The electric motor The steam engine The water wheel and windmill The internal combustion engine and the electric motor are the most important mechanical power units because of their versatility and flexibility.

16 Mechanical Power Apart from some stationary machines which are operated by electric motor, practically all power for operating modern farm equipment comes from internal combustion engines most of which are mounted on tractors. Fossil fuels including oil, gas and coal are the main sources of energy for of the mechanical power units. Petroleum is the main source of energy for farm tractors.

17 Mechanical Power Solar energy, biomass energy, nuclear energy and controlled fusion are some potential energy sources still being explored for application in agriculture. The use of solar energy for drying farm products is of course a well-established technique that is still commonly used in tropical agriculture. Wind energy provides rotary windmill power used by rural populations for: Pumping water for domestic use and for watering livestock and irrigation of crops. Threshing and grinding grains, crushing sugarcane and cutting wood.

18 Mechanical Power Hydroelectric energy and geothermal energy are sometimes used to generate electricity for both rural and industrial purposes. Although petroleum is a non-renewable and exhaustible resource, it will nevertheless remain the main energy supplement to human and animal energy in agriculture for several decades.

19 Farm Machinery Farmers are often enabled to do various operations on their farms by machines. The machines help the farmers to practice efficient timing of farm operations during the seasons. They relieve the farmers of drudgery and long hours of work. Where machines are used, fewer workers are required hence releasing labour for other farm operations and saving money. The use of machines ensures better quality produce especially in processes difficult to execute by hand.

20 Types of Farm Machinery
There are three types of farm machinery including: Hand-operated farm implements Animal-Powered farm equipment Tractor-Operated Farm Machinery In the tropics, land is still cultivated mainly with hand-operated farm implements. Hand tools are Simple to make Easy to repair and maintain. Usually inexpensive Give many years of useful service.

21 Hand-operated farm implements
Some of the predominant farm hand tools include: Hoe This is a tool with wooden handle and a metal blade that is an all-purpose tool. Sickle This is a special grain-harvesting knife with a sickle shape and has a wooden handle and a metal blade. Machete It has a wooden handle and a metal blade and is an all-purpose tool. Weeding knife This is a tool with two wooden handles and a metal blade. It is curved into a U-shape and is mainly used for weeding.

22 Animal-Powered farm equipment
Animal Power supplements human power in some tropical developing countries. Oxen are the most common animals that are used for pulling tillage and other cultivation implements such as ploughs. Donkeys are used to transport agricultural products. Some examples of the common oxen-driven implements include Ploughs Seeders/planters Cultivators Fertilizer applicators Threshers Mowers.

23 Tractor-Operated Farm Machinery
There are several types of tractor operated farm machinery including: Primary tillage equipment e.g. the mouldboard and disc ploughs. Secondary tillage equipment e.g. spike-tooth harrow, spring-tooth harrow and disc harrow. Planting equipment e.g. maize planters, cassava planters, wheat planters. Manure and fertilizer spreaders Weeders Sprayers Harvesters and threshers

24 Selection of Farm Machinery
The requirements in planning for farm mechanization include a detailed study of the management of the individual farm and suitable adjustment of the management policy. To undertake mechanization successfully the farmer must: Choose a set of equipment suited to the particular needs of the farm. Learn the most efficient techniques for operating all the equipment Ensure effective maintenance of the machinery. In order to achieve an optimum economic return, efficient selection of field machinery requires The availability of power Service and spare parts and Labour and calculation of time-use and costs

25 Factors Affecting Farm Machinery Performance
Knowledge of the performance of any piece of equipment if of fundamental importance in its selection, adaption and use. The performance of an implement depends on several factors that vary from place to place. These factors include: Ecological conditions The physical and mechanical properties of the soil Vegetation Climate (rainfall, temperature, humidity) and Topography.

26 Factors Affecting Farm Machinery Performance
Agronomic practices including Monocropping Mixed cropping planting Row planting Broadcasting Types of crops grown. Systems of machinery use Depending on whether machinery has private ownership, joint ownership, and contract work or is hire service. Technical factors including: Adaptability Availability of spare parts and fuel Ease of adjustment Manoeuvrability Trailed, semi-mounted or self-propelled Multi-purpose and material of construction.

27 Factors Affecting Farm Machinery Performance
Operator-Machine suitability Ergonomics Operator’s skills and Mechanical aptitude. Management factors Depending on whether the farm has trained personnel and good supervision, good workshop and repair facilities, adequate system of keeping records and incentives. Socio-political factors Government assistance, tax reduction, import reduction and social inhibitions.

28 Constraints to Farm Mechanization
Many small-scale farmers may not afford to mechanize their farms due to: Lack of money to buy machines. Farmer’s conservatism and rejection of new methods of farming. Lack of technical know-how to operate and maintain machinery and equipment. Land fragmentation into uneconomical units. Topography and land relief. Hilly areas are difficult to farm by machine. Lack of qualified staff to advertise machines and advice farmers on how to use them. Unavailability of spare parts to repair machines which break down.

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