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8 Common Types of Agricultural Equipment Found on a Farm

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Farms and farming practices can vary from one farm to the next, depending on if the farm is growing crops or raising animals. Despite their differences, farms tend to have many things in common, including the types of equipment you would likely see being used.

The many different types of agricultural equipment are an essential part of improving production methods on a farm. The advancements we’ve seen over the years in farming technology, in general, have allowed farmers to cultivate their land more efficiently than ever. The machinery farmers use plays a huge part in this.

Below is a roundup of the most common pieces of agricultural equipment on the market and what they are usable for.

Equipment #1: Tractors

Tractors are one piece of agricultural equipment you will likely find on every farm. Tractors are usable for plowing, soil cultivation and planting. This ag equipment can tow or push heavy objects or other farming machinery or transport things from one area to another.

There are many types of tractors. Some are designed for specific purposes, like row crop tractors, orchard tractors, and earth-moving tractors. Some are more universal, like the utility tractor. If you are shopping for a tractor for your farm, you’ll want to choose one with the right horsepower and hitch rating for your intended use.

Equipment #2: Plows

Plowing has long been one of the most critical aspects of soil management in farming. A plow is a tractor attachment with long blades that cut furrows and ridges into the soil to prepare it for planting. Initially, farmers used draught animals to pull plows through their fields, but nowadays, a plow is typically dragged behind a tractor.

There are several types of plows, like moldboard plows, ridge plows, and switch plows. The type of plow you use will depend on the crops you are planting and your specific soil management practices.

Equipment #3: Harrows

Farmers use harrows to further prepare the soil for crops after plowing the field. A plow works by lifting vegetation and breaking down clumps of dirt. This levels the surface, making it easier for the new crops to take root and allowing for aeration, improving how the soil can absorb water.

Harrows are also often used again after manure has been applied to help break up clumps and distribute the fertilizer evenly across the field.

Equipment #4: Fertilizer Spreaders

There are many types of fertilizer spreaders, which, as the name implies, are used to spread fertilizer on a field. Some fertilizer spreaders come as a tractor attachment, and some are individual equipment. A broadcast spreader uses gravity to disperse the fertilizer.

A manure spreader spreads manure from livestock such as cows or sheep, which is common on a farm with livestock and crop operations. A slurry spreader uses liquid waste by spraying the slurry over the field.

Equipment #5: Seeders

You would be correct if you guessed that seeders are used to spread seeds across a farmer’s field. Seeders help make a large job much faster and more efficient. Farmers might use mechanical seeders on a small-scale operation, but tractor-pulled seeders are most common on larger farms. There are several different types of seeders available.

Broadcast seeders, which widely disperse seed, are most often used when farmers wish to plant cover crops or grasses. Other seeders include box drills, air, and planters, which all plant seeds more accurately for crops that need to be planted in rows.

Equipment #6: Balers

Before balers came around, farmers would store hay and straw lose in the barn’s upper level, called the hayloft. Of course, loose hay takes up a lot of space, so the bailer was a welcome invention. A bailer is a tractor attachment that collects straw and hay and wraps them into bales.

Round balers roll the plant matter into round bales, and square balers work by compressing the hay or straw into square bales. These compact bales are easier to store, taking up much less space in those haylofts. They are also much easier to transport than loose hay, making supplementing your animal feed in the pasture more efficient.

Equipment #7: Trailers and Wagons

Farm trailers and wagons are other equipment on nearly every type of farm. They have many applications on a farm, including material handling, equipment transportation and harvesting. Every farmer should have a wagon or a trailer; they will undoubtedly be used daily.

Equipment #8: Combine Harvester

A combine harvester is a large machine that helps to harvest grain crops efficiently. They are most common in large-scale grain operations. However, even smaller farms can benefit by including one in their arsenal.

Combine harvesters are complex machines performing several critical steps in harvesting. First, they reap, or cut, the plants. Then threshing occurs, separating the plant’s edible and non-edible parts. Finally, winnowing is the process that separates the trash from the grain.

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