Frequently Asked Questions About Farming Tools

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FAQ’s on Farming Tools / Frequently Asked Questions About Farming Tools:

If you are into farming or gardening, it is essential to know about the equipment being is used. Here are “Frequently Asked Questions About Farming Tools“.

  1. What is agricultural equipment or what is a farm tool?

Any equipment, tool or machinery that is used for farming is termed as farm tool or agricultural equipment. There are many types of such equipment ranging from simple hand tools to power operated machinery. Equipment on a farm is commonly used to till, seed, transplant, spread chemicals, irrigate and transport. Each category has different kinds of tools available depending on the intensity of work being carried out.

  1. What are the examples of farm equipment?

Some general examples of farm equipment are hand cultivator, curry-comb, sod cutter, twine cutter, dibber, ditching tools, drag hoe/pitchfork, digging fork, hay knife, rake, tractors, cultivators, planter, shovel, spade, plough, harrow, tiller, and sickle etc.

  1. What is rake used for in agriculture?

Rake means to scrape together or heap up and it is a kind of broom that helps in scraping the farmland. It is a tool consisting of a toothed bar fixed transversely to a handle and is used to collect leaves, hay, grass, etc. from a horticulture farm area, whereas the same tool is used for weeding, levelling and removing dead grass in a garden area. Hay rakes are large mechanised versions of normal rakes that are used in farming practices of a large scale.

  1. What are tractors used for in farming and how much does a tractor cost?

A tractor is a machine designed to deliver high torque at low speeds; it is used for the purpose of hauling a trailer or implement used in agriculture.  In a simple way, a tractor in a farm area is used to push or pull farm implements for ploughing, tilling, disking, harrowing, planting and other similar tasks. The famous tractor brand in India is Mahindra and the cost of the tractor depends on its model and service. The price range could be from Rs 2-10 lakhs.

  1. What is agriculture implement or farm implement?

The tools or accessories that can be drawn by animal power or those that can be mounted to machinery for performing various activities like land preparation in a farm area are generally called agriculture implements. Some examples of implements are ploughs, harrow, rotavator etc.

  1. What are basic/simple hand tools for a farm?

A hand tool is anything that can be powered by hand and doesn’t require any battery or motor. Some simple hand tools for farming are shrub rake, hand trowel, pick fork, grab hoe, shovel, pick mattock, spade, crowbar, bolo, sprinkler, sprayer, sickle, pruning shears etc. Hand tools are generally light and easy to use

  1. What is a three-point tractor hitch?

A three-point hitch or link is commonly used equipment that helps attach ploughs and other implements to the tractor. It represents a triangle or a letter A. It is considered the only possible way of attaching two bodies or structures together for farming. The main benefit of using a three-point hitch is that it transfers the weight and resistance of the implement to the drive wheels of the tractor thereby giving the tractor more usable traction than normal.

  1. Why is mechanization needed?

A mechanical way of farming helps is the judicious application of inputs using various tools like hand tools, power-driven machines etc. while performing different farm activities. Mechanisation ensures précised operation, reduced time, less labour and helps to harness the potential of available resources.

  1. What are the priorities for mechanization?

Mechanization has become important because it is expected to enhance productivity by reducing the energy and labour required for various farm operations. The priority of mechanization depends on the agro-climatic conditions of the region and involves land preparation and crop production in the following order: cereal crops, cash crops, oilseed crops, pulse crops and finally horticulture crops.

  1. How does government promote mechanization?

So as to enhance the use of farm equipment, the government of India has laid emphasis to provide financial support to the farmers in different forms like subsidies for the purchase of equipment, demonstration of new equipment, human resource development for operating the machinery, maintenance and management of machinery, improving the quality through testing and evaluation. The Government has certified testing institutes for promoting agricultural mechanization.

  1. What is some newly developed equipment?

The tools that have been identified as new equipment are zero till, seed drill, strip-till drill, raised bed planter, sugarcane cutter planter, rice transplanter, tractor tiller, operated rotavator, sunflower thresher, aero blast sprayer, power weeder, cono weeder, battery-operated cono weeder, fruit harvester, tractor operated spading etc.

  1. What should be done to help the equipment last longer?

There are some simple ways to follow so as to increase the life expectancy of the farm equipment (especially the battery-operated machines). Two things that keep the machinery in good condition are handling the machinery properly and following the manufacturers’ recommendations for maintenance can guarantee a long life for machinery/equipment.

  1. How is it known that a tractor is in good condition?

The following factors should be checked for a good tractor:

  • It should have good compression.
  • Low oil leaks.
  • Should not emit blue smoke.
  • The rear tire should have an inch of tread left.
  • No rattling sound and jerky movements
  • Oil and coolant should not share a common sump.
  • Clunking sound of the engine indicates a problem.
  • The sediment bowl should not have built-in rust.
  1. Why are farm equipment tested and is it mandatory?

The main aim of testing agricultural equipment like pumps, engines and other machinery is to understand their functionality and performance characteristics under different agro-climatic conditions. The test is carried out to prove the efficiency of the machine or implements that were successful in other regions so as to introduce them into other countries or regions.  Farm machinery is tested to help the Bureau of Indian Standards to formulate different standards for implementing and machines.

The testing process is not mandatory, but there are testing institutes that do perform this task so as to provide a performance report of the equipment.

  1. How can one avail of farm equipment testing?

The applicant or manufacturer who wants the machinery to be tested should first obtain an application form from the testing institute and submit it in triplicate, along with a predefined test fee as prescribed by the institute. The testing authority informs the date for the machinery test or the date for submission of the test sample.

  1. What is the use of plough?

It is a farm implement used for preparing the soil bed for sowing or planting. Traditional ploughs were attached to draft animals such as oxen or horse, but the modern ploughs are drawn by tractors. Materials that can be used to make a plough are wood, iron, steel or metal. Plough is attached with a stick or blade to cut through the soil in order to loosen it.

  1. What are the functions of disc plough?

It is designed to work in all types of soil conditions and is used in breaking, raising, turning and mixing the soil. Disc plough can be used in the new fields to open and process the stony areas. This is exclusively used in hard and trashy lands where soil scouring is a major problem.

  1. What is the function of a disc harrow?

The main purpose of using a disc harrow is to break the new land, chop the residue and incorporate it into the topsoil. A disc harrow is generally preferred to be used for incorporating agricultural lime and gypsum because it achieves a mixing rate of 50/50 with the soil when properly implemented. This tool is preferably used before the ploughing action to make the land easier to manage and reduce clogging.

  1. What is a rotavator and what is its function?

It is a tractor-drawn implement used for seedbed preparation, removing and mixing residues of maize, wheat and sugarcane into the soil for improving soil health. They are available in three categories, i.e. light, standard and heavy-duty. Rotavator of different categories is used depending on the soil condition of the region. It is also known as a rotary tiller.

  1. What is a mouldboard plough?

Nutrients in less fertile soil have to be regularly brought to the top surface so as to make them available for the plants. To help this happen, a mouldboard plough or a turn plough was introduced. It is also known as a frame plough. The mouldboard plough has seven parts such as the beam, three-point hitch/hake, height regulator, coulter, chisel, share and mouldboard.

  1. What is the cultivator used for?

A cultivator is considered to be a farm implement used for secondary tillage. One model of a cultivator has a frame with teeth that helps to pierce the ground and can be dragged linearly. The other model is a machine that has disks or teeth having a rotary motion to till the soil.  The main purpose of the cultivator is to stir the soil and pulverize it either before planting or after the crops has grown. Stirring the soil before planting is done to aerate the soil and smooth the seedbed, whereas using a cultivator after planting causes controlled disturbance in the topsoil to uproot the weeds.

  1. What is the difference between the cultivator and tiller?

The major tasks of cultivators are loosening the soil in an existing farm area, weeding the area and mixing compost into the soil whereas tillers perform heavy jobs in large planting areas.

Tiller is a gasoline-powered machine that can work on wider areas than a cultivator, but a cultivator can be found working either in the gasoline-powered mode or cordless/corded electric powered mode.

Tillers have large tines to dig the soil either in the forward direction or in the reverse direction and are called front-tine tillers and rear-tine tillers.

  1. What is the purpose of a hoe?

Hoe is considered to be an ancient hand tool for carrying out farm activities like shaping the soil, removing the weeds, clear the soil and harvesting the roots. Shaping the soil literally means earthing up or pilling up the soil around the plants, digging furrows and trenches for seed and bulb planting. A Hoe when used for digging agitates the soil, cuts the foliage from the roots and removes the roots or residues from old crops. Hoes are exclusively used for harvesting root crops like potato.

  1. What are spades used for?

The primary tool for garden work is a spade because it is used for digging the soil or ground to loosen it or to break the lumps in the soil; it is also efficient in slicing, lifting sod, edging the surface, skimming weeds etc. The tool consists of a blade and a long handle. Earlier spades were made of wood or animal bones, but these days they are made of metal. Using metal for making the spade blades increased their efficiency because the lower edge was made sharp (curved or straight) which made working on the ground easily and effortless. The wooden handle has a T-shaped cross piece or a loop at the end.

  1. What is the difference between a spade and a shovel?

The handle to the blade tip is straight for a spade whereas it is a bit curved for a shovel. The front edge of a spade is sharp and straight whereas that of a shovel is angled. This angle on the front edge of a shovel makes it useful for digging, but the straight, sharp edge of a spade makes it available for slicing, lifting, edging lawns and beds and in creating straight-sided holes or trenches.

Read this: Frequently Asked Questions About Farming.

  1. What is a sickle and what are its uses?

A sickle is also known as a bagging tool or reaping tool which has curved blades of different varieties and a short handle. This hand tool is most importantly used for harvesting/reaping grain crops, cutting dry or fresh forage for livestock. The inside of the curve is a sharp blade that is used to slice multiple stems at the same time. The cutting action while using a sickle is from left to right for a right-handed user and it is swung in the opposite way when used free. Sickles is also commonly known as grass-hook, swap-hook, rip-hook, slash-hook, reaping hook, brishing hook or bagging hook.

  1. What are the differences between a scythe and a sickle?

The purpose of both the scythe and sickle is the same and one should be careful by guarding his/her legs while using these tools. The main differences between both the tools are:

  • The sickle is a short handle tool, whereas the scythe is a large handle tool.
  • The blade of the sickle is semi-circular in shape attached to a handle while the blade (snath) of a scythe is at right angles to the handle.
  • Sickle can be used with one hand while the scythe needs the effort of both hands.
  • The sickle has to be used in a stooping position while the scythe can be used in an upright position.
  1. What is the need for shovels on a farm?

A shovel consists of a broad blade fixed to a medium-length handle. The blades are either made of sheet steel or hard plastic and the handles are made of wood or fibreglass. Shovels in the garden or farm are hand tools used for digging and moving gravel, sand etc.

  1. How is a mattock different from a pick?

Mattock is a handheld tool used for digging and chopping while farming. The tool has a long handle made of wood or fibre and a metalhead either in the form of an axe blade and adze or adze and pick. The major difference between a mattock and a pickaxe is that a mattock contains a broad adze on one end and an axe or pick on the other end of the head. A pickaxe has a pointed pick on one side and a narrow chisel on the other side.

  1. What is a trowel and what is it used for?

The trowel is a digging tool, very small and handy to use. It has a pointed, scoop-shaped blade made of metal and a handle made of wood, plastic or metal. The main purpose of this tool in a garden is to dig small holes for planting and weeding. Sometimes it is also used for mixing fertilizers or transferring plants to pots.

  1. What is a digging fork?

A digging fork is also known as a garden fork, spading fork or graip. This tool has a handle with four short, sturdy tines. It is mainly used in the garden or farm area to loosen the soil or turn the soil. It functions like a spade but is more efficient than that’s because it can be easily pushed into the ground and can remove the stones, weeds and clods. The main advantage is that it does not cut the weed roots or root crops. Traditional graip was made of wood, but now they are made of carbon steel or stainless steel.

  1. How does a seed drill work?

A device that is used to sow seeds by metering out individual seeds and positioning them appropriately in the soil is known as a seed drill. The seed drill is designed in such a way that it sows the seeds at equal distances, proper depths and covers them with adequate soil such that they are not left exposed to the atmosphere. A seed drill consists of a hopper filled with seeds that are arranged above a series of tubes set at selected distances. The spacing of the seeds is done by fluted paddles that are controlled by gears. Changing the gear ratio alters the seed rate. Before using a seed drill, the ground has to be ploughed, levelled and harrowed. The grains to be planted are put in the hopper on the top and the seed drill spaces and plants them.

  1. What is a flail mower?

It is a garden or farm equipment that is used to remove heavier grass or scrub in the area that is not possible to mow down by a normal mower. This is generally used to cut long grass in a rough manner. The equipment is called a flail because it has flails attached to its rotating horizontal drum. The flails are staggered normally so as to provide a complete cut. The flail is attached to the drum by chain links or brackets. The shape of the flail is in the form of extruded ‘T’ or ‘Y’.

  1. What are tools used in harvesting?

The most commonly used tools for harvesting cereal crops are scythe and sickle. A big variety of the sickle is used to harvest fodder from trees while a chopper (gandasa) and axes are used for harvesting crops like sugarcane.

  1. What are post-harvest tools and implements?

Some commonly used post-harvest tools are wooden pole, wooden pin, hand mill, winnower, sieve, shearer, skinner etc.

  1. What are the tools used for intercultural operations?

The equipment used for performing intercultural operations on the farm is cono weeder, dry land weeder, hand hoe and rotary slasher.

  1. What are the tools required for livestock farming?

The important tools required for livestock farming are a drenching gun, dosing gun, wool shears, hypodermic syringe, stirrup pump, thermometer, burdizzo, halter rope, trimming knife, elastrator, iron dehorner, trocar and cannula, ear notcher, teeth clipper and chaff cutter.

  1. What are the essential tools for gardening?

Some important tools for gardening are a wheelbarrow, dibber, dibbing spade, garden trowel, fork hoe, garden knife, garden secateurs, heavy-duty hoe, garden gark and oscillating hoe.

  1. How do you take care of garden tools?

Possible ways of maintaining the farm tools are by cleaning them, sharpening them (file them at an angle of 20-45 degree angle) and storing them properly (dry and rust-free).

  1. How can one remove rust from garden shears?

The tools should be soaked overnight in a mixture of vinegar (50%) and water (50%) and then the rust on the tools should be removed in circular motions using steel wool or brush. After the rust is gone, the tools should be rinsed in soapy water followed by clean water.

  1. What should be used to clean pruning shears?

Use a stiff brush to clean or scrub the sap and dirt from the blades with warm water and two teaspoons of dish soap. Once the scrubbing is complete, rinse the blades with clean water. If one still finds rust spots on the blades then soak the blades in a mixture of water and bleach. This will clean the blade and also disinfect them.

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