Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery

Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery

Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery

Land Preparation Implements

in this article, I’m going to tell you about the Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery

Objectives of Land Preparation                                       

  1.  Weed control & Pest Control.
  2. Organic & inorganic fertilizer mixed with soil
  3. Preparation of suitable seedbed for sowing or transplanting.
  4. Develop Irrigation facilities.
  5. Develop drainage condition.
  6.  Brake down the hardpan layers.

Steps of land preparation

  1. Primary Land preparation
  2. Secondary Land preparation

Primary Land preparation

  • Cut and turn the soil in weedy land
  • Cut, remove and turn soil sod.
  • Need more power.

Secondary Land preparation

  • Further preparation of primarily ploughed land.
  • Harrow & level the land.
  • Comparatively low power requirement.

Land Preparation Equipment

  • Human Power
  • Animal Power- Wooden plough
  • Tractor Power-  Disc plough, Tine tiller

Primary Land Preparation Equipments

  1. With four-wheel tractor

Disc plough

Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery
  • Commonly used four-wheel tractor attached primary tillage equipment. 
  • Suitable for dry & hard soil also
  • Suitable for rocky & root available soil also
  • Can break hardpan
  • Disc about 2 – 8
  • 2 – 3disc are common in Sri Lanka
  • Diameter of disc is about 26”, 28” or 30”
  • Disc rotate separately

Parts & Function

  • Headstock – Attach with Top link
  • Main Frame – Attach all parts
  • Cross Shaft – Attach with side links
  • Scraper – Remove mud remaining with disc
  • Disc – Cut & turn soil  sod


Vertical angle

 Angle of the disc with vertical plane

  • Vertical angle of the plough generally adjust between 200 – 300
  • Can increase the depth of ploughing by decreasing vertical angle

Horizontal angle

  • Angle between tractor moving direction & disc
  •  Can be changed by rotating individual disc or set of discs (Changing cross shaft)
  • Ploughing width / furrow width can be increased by increasing horizontal angle.

Mouldboard Plough

  • Use with four-wheel tractor
  • Suitable for weedy land
  • Not suitable for rocky land.
  • Furrow wheel – Keep stability of plough / avoid turning of plough & keep straight furrow
  • Plough beam – attached disc
  • Extension – attached disc if required
    • Distance between two disc about 25-30 cm
    • Ploughing depth is about 8-12 inch (20-30 cm)

2. Use with two-wheel Tractor

Mould board Plough

Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery

Cuts and inverted to one side

Two types

                1. Reversible Plough

                2. Non reversible

Parts of Mould board plough

  • Main Beam – Attached all parts
  • Plough Beam – Attached mouldboard &  Shear
  • Shear & Point of shear – cut and lift the soil sod
  • Mould board – lift & turn soil sod
  • Landside – keep stability of plough
  • Attachment bracket – Attach plough with 2W tractor
  • Offset lever – Change ploughing position & help to plough near the bunds
  • Depth control lever – Control the ploughing depth
  • Reversible lever – change sod-turning direction
  • Ploughing depth 16 cm / 6 inch
  • Width –  24 cm, 10 inch


  • Reversible (Sod turning directions)
  • Offset (Cutting position)                              
  • Depth Control lever

Secondary Tillage Equipments

1. With two-wheel Tractor

Rotary tiller (Rotorvator)

  • Use with two-wheel tractor
  • Use for harrowing & levelling in secondary tillage.
  • Can be used as an inter cultivation equipment.

Type of rotovator

  • Central Driven
  • Side driven
  • Upper Chain  – Supply power from the tractor to rotovator.
  • Rotary Gear Box – Change to suitable gear ratio
  • Lower chain – supply power from the gearbox to shaft & blade
  • Shaft – rotate attached blade
  • Blade – Harrowing & levelling
  • Depth control wheel – depth control

Tilling pitch (Bite length)

  • Distance between two blade  pitching point in one ploughing line.

Tilling pitch is depend with

  • Rotation speed of blade shaft
    • Speed of tractor

N = speed of rotory

V = travelling speed of tractor

Z = Number of tines on one rotating circle ( Generally z = 1)


  • Create ridge & furrow in harrowed land.

2.  With four wheel tractor

Tine tiller

  • Commonly used secondary tillage & inter cultivation in Sri Lanka
  • Used with four-wheel tractor
  • Tinetiller is an implement used for finer operations like breaking clods and working the soil to a fine tilth for preparing a seedbed.
  • Tine tiller is also called as cultivator or tooth harrow.

 It is used to further loosen the previously ploughed land before sowing.

  • The main object of providing two rows and staggering the position of tines is to provide clearance between tines so that clods and plant residues can freely pass through without blocking.
  • The number of tines ranges from 7 to 13.
  • The shares of the tines can be replaced when they are worn-out


  • Secondary land preparation equipment.
  • Use for harrowing & levelling
  • Harrows can be divided in to
  •    Disc harrow 
  •    Spike tooth harrow
  •   Spring tooth harrow

Disc harrow

  • Discs
    • Plain discs
    • Cur away discs

Maintenance of Land Preparation Implements

  • Increase durability
  • Reduce repair cost

Maintenance during operation

  • Check all nuts & bolts & tight
  • Disc plough – grease the bearing
  • Rotary plough – check the gearbox oil level, Grease upper chain & Blade shaft
  • Wash every day after work

Maintenance during non – operation

  • Protect from rain & moisture
  • Clean before store & dry
  • Add or spray a thin layer of burned oil for protection from rusting
  • Store on solid floor

Operation & Maintenance of seeders

Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery
  1. John Pulley Seeder
  2. Two-row upland seeder

Paddy Transplanter

  1. FMRC Six row paddy transplanter

Weed Control Equipment

Operation & Maintenance of Farm Machinery
  1. Japan rotary weeder
  2. Chopping hoe
  3. Swiss hoe
  4. Three-point cultivator
  5. Hand Ridger

Plant Protection Equipments

Timely application of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides (collectively called Crop Protection Products-CPP) at peak periods plays a vital role in ensuring better yields from a crop.

Classification of Plant Protection  Equipments

Form of pesticide

  • Sprayers
  • Dusters

Operating mechanism

  • Piston type
  • Diaphragm type
  • Auto compression type

Carrying type

  • Knapsack
  • Tractor mounted

Type of operation

  • Hand operated
  • Power sprayers

Hand Operated Sprayers

  1. Piston Type Sprayers
  1. Diaphragm Type Sprayer
  1. Auto compression Type Sprayers

Power Sprayers

  1. Mist blowers
  1. Hydraulic power Sprayers

Sprayer Nozzle

Droplet Size and Target

  • Some droplets may drift to other areas
  • Some droplets hit the target
  • Some droplets may evaporate
  • Some droplets may hit the ground
  • Use right good quality, new nozzles

Classification of Spray Droplet Size

ASAE  S-572  Classification of droplet size and Color

  • Fogs are with droplets
  • < 50 μm VMD
  • but greater than 5%
  • by volume < 30 μm
  • Mists are with
  • droplets from 50 – 100 μm
  • but less than 5%
  • by volume < 30 μm

Type of Nozzle

  • Hollow Cone
  • Solid Cone
  • Flat Fan
  • Deflector / Impact

Nozzles functions

  1. Nozzles regulate spray liquid emission rates (dosage)
    1. Nozzles break the liquid into droplets (Droplets).
    1. Nozzles ensure the spray is distributed as intended (Distribution Pattern).
    1. Quality of distribution
    1. The degree of drift and downfall

Spraying Technique

  • Broadcast spraying is when the entire field is to be treated. The width that each tip sprays, adjusted for spray overlap, is the distance between tips on the spray boom.
  • Band spraying is when planted rows or unplanted gaps are treated. The width that each tip sprays is the width of the treated band
  • Higher volumes of spray liquid can be atomised into smaller drops – very appropriate for many insecticides and fungicides

Deflect nozzle

Water Pumps

Classification of Water pump

Positive Displacement Pumps

  • For each pump revolution
    • Fixed amount of liquid taken from one end
    • Positively discharged at other end
  • If pipe blocked
    • Pressure rises
    • Can damage pump
  • Used for pumping fluids other than water
  • Reciprocating pump
    • Displacement by reciprocation of piston plunger
    • Used only for viscous fluids and oil wells
  • Rotary pump
    • Displacement by rotary action of gear, cam or vanes
    • Several sub-types
    • Used for special services in the industry

Dynamic pumps

  • Mode of operation
    • Rotating impeller converts kinetic energy into pressure or velocity to pump the fluid
    • Two types
    • Centrifugal pumps: pumping water in industry
    • Special effect pumps: specialized conditions

Submersible Pumps

  • Deep well applications
  • Open water applications with suction lifts above 25’
  • Open water applications with excessive elevation
  • requiring higher output pressure
  • Applications where a visible pump is undesirable

Deep Well Kit

Pump Terminology


  • Resistance of the system
    • Two types: static and friction

Static and Dynamic Head

  • Suction Head
  • Delivery Head
  • Static Head
  • Friction Head
  • Dynamic Head
  •  Total Head

Centrifugal Pump

How do they work?

  • Liquid forced into impeller
  • Vanes pass kinetic energy to liquid: liquid rotates and leaves the impeller
  • Volute casing converts kinetic energy into pressure energy
  • SP & NSP Pumps                             
  • Single-stage & multiple stage pumps
  • Closed couple & other types
  • Volute  & diffuse shape casin

Water Horse Power & Brake Horse Power

  • Water Horse Power

                Theoretical power requirement for water pumping

                Whp = Qh/273        ( Q= m3/hr)

                Whp = Qh/76                       ( Q= l/s )

                Whp = Qhx10/3300       (Q= gallons /min , h = ft)

                 Whp = Qhx62.5/550           (Q= ft3/S,  h = ft)

  • Brake Horse Power

   Actual power requirement (Power should supply to pump) for water pumping

                Bhp = Whp / Pump efficiency

Pump Characteristic Curve

Pump Performance

  • The performance of a pump is shown by its characteristic curve, where the flow capacity (Q) is plotted against the delivery pressure or developed head (H).
  • Head is measured in metres.

Centrifugal Pump Performance Curve

  • A centrifugal pump uses the conservation of energy principle. It changes velocity energy into pressure energy.
  • As the differential head (H) increases, the flow rate (Q)decreases. The performance curve looks like this.

Losses due to Friction

  • A centrifugal pump incurs head losses due to friction.

The friction is caused by the fluid changing direction when travelling through the pump and by clearances within the pump. These losses vary

Actual performance curve

  • Subtracting the losses from the ideal gives the actual performance curve for the pump.
  • Ideal Head –Losses =Actual Head

  It is possible to determine the useful power of a pump by the formula

Losses in a centrifugal pump

  • For a centrifugal pump, as previously mentioned, losses vary with pump flow and developed head. This means that the useful power varies.
  • A more useful curve is obtained from plotting Efficiency-Flow.
  • Efficiency=Useful Power/Supplied Power
  • The system should be designed to give the normal operating flow rate at the point of maximum efficiency.

Harvesting Machneries

Milking Machines

What is a Milking Machine

A machine for harvesting milk from the udders of cows, goats, sheep or animals.

Milk Harvesting

Milk harvesting is the process of

  1. extracting milk from animals
  2. Transporting the milk to a storage tank
  3. Storing the milk until it is picked up for processing.
  4. Milk is usually cooled during storage

Milk harvest requires cooperative effort between :

  • The animal and The operator
  • And a properly functioning milking machine

Milking Machine Goals

A properly designed, installed, maintained, and operated milking machine will:

  • Remove milk from the animal quickly and gently
  • Not contribute to poor udder health
  • Not degrade milk quality from the time of removal to delivery
  • Be easy to clean and sanitize

Milking Machine Components

  • A milking machine is made up of several basic component groups
  • Milking units
  • Vacuum production and control system
  • Milk transport system
  • Cleaning and sanitation systems
  • Milk Cooling and Storage systems
  • Although not part of the milking machine itself, the milking machine always delivers milk to a storage container
  • And milk is usually cooled on the farm

Lets see how we get milk out of a cow

  • Vacuum is applied to the inside of the liner to withdraw milk from each teat and keep the machine attached to the cow
  • When the pulsation chamber is under a vacuum, the liner is open and milk flow starts
  • Atmospheric pressure is applied to the pulsation chamber and the liner closes. Milk flow stops and the teat is massaged to reduce congestion

Paddy Harvesting Machineries

Good harvesting practices

At harvest, the quality of rice is the best. From then on it can deteriorate quickly due to:

  • Heat build-up from mould and insect development
  • Discolouration/Yellowing from heat build-up
  • Cracking from re-wetting of dried grains
  • Loss of vigour

Goals of good harvesting:

  • maximize grain yield (minimize losses)
  • minimize grain damage
  • Minimize quality deterioration

When to harvest

Harvest paddy at:

  • 20-25% grain moisture
  • 80-85% straw coloured and
  • the grains in the lower part of the panicle are in the hard doe stage
  • 30 days after flowering

Harvesting & Threshing Methods

1.  Manual cutting / Manual threshing

2.Manual cutting/machine threshing

3. Machine cutting/machine threshing

4. Combine harvesting

Machine cutting

Paddy reaper

Combine harvesting

Two type

  • Head feeding type
  • Whole feeding type


  • combines cutting, threshing, cleaning and hauling
  • tracks for mobility in wet fields


  • high capacity
  • low total harvest losses


  • Requires relatively large field sizes
  • Problem in terraced fields

Other Harvesting Machineries

Paddy Threshing Machines

  1. Manual Threshing 
  2. Machine Threshing
  3. Threshing with tractor
  4. Small capacity engine driven threshers
  5. Medium capacity two-wheel tractor powered threshers
  6. High capacity combine threshers powered by either four-wheel tractor PTO or separate engine

Threshing of Paddy

  • Striping action
  • Rubbing action 
  • Impact action

Manual Threshing

  • Threshing by impact
  • High shattering losses
  • Pre-drying might be needed

Machine Threshing

Combine threshers

  • Threshing
  • Cleaning
  •  Winnowing


Use for drying of grains


  • Flat / Table type
  • Cabinet type
  • Incubator consist with two parts
    • Setter
    • Hatcher

Important points

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Turning
  • Ventilation

Temperature Control

Range from 98.7 to 100 F 99.1-99.8 optimum

‘Still air’ incubators suggest higher incubation temperatures as opposed to ‘forced air’ units


  1.  Achieving specific water loss is the goal
  2. Relative humidity should be 55 – 60 %
  3. Wet-bulb temp 80 – 85 F

Egg turning

  1.   Recommendations
  • 5-6 times per day (three times is OK)
  • 180 degrees, not all in one direction
  • place an X on one side of the egg
  • Do not turn the last three days of incubation


Air exchange is critical to prevent suffocation

  • Rule of thumb – ventilate as much as you can and still be able to maintain incubator temperatures

Setter Operation


Supply of  fresh air, exhausting CO2

Temperature control

Varies with setter type 99.5 – 1000 F


Used to control moisture loss

Chickens ~ 12 % @ 18 days

  • Ostrich ~ 15% total
    • 840  F wet bulb (~ 54% humidity)
  • Turning
    • Ensures proper embryo development
    • At least 2-3 X per day

Hatcher Operation



  • May increase after pipping
  • Humidity varies with different species


  • Usually lower than in the setting machines
  • Do not turn eggs prior to hatching

check out my other article:Some Basic points that are important in Bitter Gourd Cultivation

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