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Farm Equipment & Machinery

Farm Equipment & Machinery

Posted by Adelle Webber on

Equipment & Machinery Used In Agriculture

agriculture and farming ytactor

Farming and Agriculture have become synonyms throughout the world. Depending on your location, the machinery used for agriculture ranges from hand labor with shovels to the world's most technologically advanced equipment. From family vegetable gardens to thousand-acre farms, tools and machinery reduce labor and increase output. 

After hundreds of years of a global evolution in farming, disparities exist between poorer countries and economically strong neighbors. The contrasts aren't just economic. Soil, weather, water, and climate also separate poor agriculture from the prosperous.

 

Farms come in all shapes and sizes.

The definition of a farm as a noun "an area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and rearing animals, typically under the control of one owner or manager."        

"a farm of 100 acres".

Farms

Using the noun “farm” in this context includes milk, cheese, cattle, fish, oyster, flowers, apple, sheep, silk, rice, olives, and a variety of others. All of which require their own specialized machinery for efficient production.

If you come from a prosperous farming region, you might tend to think of farms as large expanses of wheat, corn, soybeans, or similar crops. Origins from poorer agriculture-based economies might view farming as small 1- 5 acre plots producing food for their family.

Regardless of your view, agriculture is a $2.4 Trillion economic juggernaut that feeds the world's population. Its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 13%.

 

Agriculture started at home.

We all know farming began as our distant relatives started staying in one place. The evolution of their way of life from hunter/gatherers was when they realized they could plant vegetables and berries for their food supply. And with a few rock walls or wooden fences, raise their own meat.

Farm Home

The output sufficed for feeding the immediate family with some leftover for trading for other goods or services. This type of farming evolved all across the globe. To this day, millions of people survive and make their living on relatively small plots of land with limited resources.

Local climates' scarcity of water had a lot to do with farming's success throughout the world and remained a significant obstacle. Even now, underdeveloped countries don't have access to good seed, feedstock, water, nor can they afford modern fertilizers or fuel for machinery.

When the small farmer has a plentiful crop, it isn't unusual that 80% is wasted without preserving the products and getting them to distant markets to be sold.

Farm co-ops, storage, and transportation to markets have taken centuries to form modern-day agriculture logistics networks. For those of us in major industrialized countries, it is hard to imagine farming in third-world countries.

Image no way to get electricity as it was during the time of early settlers in the US. Depending on horses or oxen to supplement manpower for plowing or transporting goods to market. There is no fuel for tractors, generators, water pumps, or trucks in parts of the world.  

 

Countries dependent on Agriculture 

Many smaller countries' GDP is dependent on agriculture. The top three are Liberia - 76.9%, Somalia - 60.2%, and Guinea-Bissau - 55.8%. The leading cash crops in Liberia are rubber and palm oil. Somalia's largest crops are bananas and sugar cane. Guinea-Bissau is cashew nuts.  (Statistics provided by World Atlas)

According to the World Atlas, the countries most dependent on farming are low-income countries. They usually only have small-scale agriculture, which is highly inefficient.  

An astonishing 1 in 6 people relies on imports for food. Populations of the United States, China, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom rely on imports to satisfy their people's needs. Although these countries could produce their own food if required and not rely on imports.

There are countries dependent on imports with insufficient ability to produce enough food for their population. Again according to World Atlas, 34 countries fit into these categories.

 

Afghanistan leads this group of food importing countries.

Afghanistan Agriculture

The economy of Afghanistan has improved since US and NATO involvement over the last 20 years. Billions of dollars of international assistance have helped modernize several sectors of the economy.

The country still remains one of the least developed countries globally. The agriculture sector constitutes 23% of its GDP and 44.3% of its labor force.  The dynamics of agriculture in Afghanistan can be found in the poorest economies of the world.  

Most farms are small, 1-5 hectares in size. With a weak central government, there is little coordination across its provinces and districts to manage production. Local farmers produce what they know how to create. These farmers rely on local markets for selling their produce and other commodities. A considerable proportion of these crops go to waste without cold storage or transportation.

Less perishable crops such as raisins, nuts, and figs are exported in small quantities. The country is known for pistachios, raisins, almonds, pine nuts, and pomegranates. More unusual is the cultivation of saffron and goat wool. Afgan handmade wool rugs are also a sought-after commodity.

 

The goal of more efficient production and trade

With 44% of the employment in Afghanistan dependent on agriculture, much of the international effort to improve economic conditions were focused on agriculture. Modern agriculture machinery was out of the question. Most rural locations had no access to fuel or electricity. Their farms were too small for efficient use of tractors or other equipment even if they could find and afford the fuel needed to run them.

International forces and NGOs (non-government organizations, relief agencies) had to start with the basics. Teaching farmers how to efficiently grow small crops with the use of greenhouses and drip irrigation. The training included processes for cleaning, grading, and packing produce for transportation.

Local markets couldn't handle the glut of produce during harvest season—the excess need to travel to larger distribution centers. Developing local storage and distribution centers with cold storage to extend the life of produce was a must.

 

Agriculture Equipment isn't just about tractors. 

Modernized Ice Cream processed from local dairy and distributed throughout Afghanistan via push carts and bicycles.

Creating logistical supply chains enabled the local farmer to get his excess products to larger distant markets requiring machinery, warehousing, and transportation.

Regional processing plants for cotton, mills for grain, seed oils, and juice production solved some waste & logistic issues.

What machinery was needed for such a supply chain with little access to fuel or electricity in Afghanistan's remote villages?  

 

Small-scale water turbines - a modern version of the water wheel used for centuries to grind grain or pump water- could not generate electricity for a small local electrical grid. Afghanistan certainly had mountain streams and rivers running the length and breadth of the country. The same water used by locals for drinking, cooking, and washing could generate electricity.

When you have limited sources of electricity or DC power PTC fan heaters and surface heaters can be a great alternative than gas or oil.

 

Solar Panels

Solar Panels - small-scale solar systems produce enough electricity for local cold storage during the day for fruits and vegetables. This enabled more time for processing and preparing the goods for transportation to regional storage facilities.  

Many of these small solar installations couldn’t afford alternators or the maintenance for AC power.  Where spot heating is needed PTC ceramic elements with self controlling properties are ideal.  No maintenance required makes them best suited for the high mountains of Afghanistan.

 

vegetable Conveyer

Conveyors and washing equipment - simplified grading and washing the produce before cold storage. 

 

 

Cold Panel Storage

Cold Storage Panels - were needed to create the cold storage compartments and maintain temperature throughout the warm nights until solar power could be restored the following day.

 

 

 

greenhouses

Greenhouses are an essential advantage for starting crops early during the short growing season in the country.  Heat with battery voltage PTC ceramic element heaters.

 

 

 

three wheeled motor bike

Three-wheel motorbikes with coolers are ideal for bringing small quantities of produce to larger collection centers.  Add cooling with Peltier effect electromagnetic cooler.

 

 

Large Trucks and Cold Trailers

Larger trucks and cold trailers are needed for transporting goods from the regional centers along the ring road to processing plants and city markets.  Heating the cab in these trucks in Afghan or keeping the battery warm in Afghan winters is an application for PTC and flexible silicone rubber heaters.





Machinery for processing plants

Small-scale processing plants near regional distribution hubs help process many of the farm goods to be easily transported to larger markets and exported to other countries. Pomegranates, mulberries, cherries, and apples have a limited shelf life during the warm summer season. 

Processing Fruit

Processing these fruits into juice and storing them in aseptic packaging extends the life needed for transportation to larger cities and export markets in Europe and the Middle East. Pressing seeds and nuts for oils that can be shipped in bulk containers. 

Grapes, once dried into raisins, can be exported around the world. In one case, from Afghanistan to a grape processor in Argentina whose production equipment is idle in the wintertime, opposite of Afghanistan's summer harvest season.  

In many poorer countries of the world with similar conditions, this type of logistic supply system and machinery could help many local farmers out of poverty. The local, regional, and national storage, distribution, and processing centers create jobs and reduce illicit drug production.

 

Learn more about PTC DC Powered Heaters

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Want to learn more or have a specific application?

DBK USA has experts standing by to answer your questions.  Specialists in PTC heating elements and cooling applications can help you select the right components for your application.

Feel free to call our engineers directly at 1-864-607-9047








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