Furthermore, workers in greenhouses are employed in a much more comfortable and hospitable environment than field workers and as such the pressure to mechanize is less intense. Looking to the future, harvesting techniques will continue to attract substantial interest and investment in determining if the state-of-the-art technologies (machine vision, robotics, software engineering, GPS and GIS) can be successfully applied to harvesting machines particularly in relation to selective harvesting and the harvesting of delicate produce for the fresh market.
Wages are so low in South Asia that, except for tea plantations, it is still cheaper to weed by hand than to use herbicides (Binswanger and Shetty 1977). Mechanical weeding between the rows with animals becomes feasible only when line seeding is practiced. Inter-row cultivation also tends to be performed by animals long after tractors are used for tillage.
Farm machinery, mechanical devices, including tractors and implements, used in farming to save labour. Farm machines include a great variety of devices with a wide range of complexity: from simple hand-held implements used since prehistoric times to the complex harvesters of modern mechanized agriculture.An example was the mass-produced and low-cost Fordson tractor introduced by Henry Ford in 1916. Soon after the Irish inventor and agricultural engineer, Harry Ferguson, recognized the utility of a greater integration of the tractor with the implements and machines (plows, seeders, agrochemical applicators, harvesters, feeders), which were pulled behind it by a simple drawbar hitch.Agricultural technology, application of techniques to control the growth and harvesting of animal and vegetable products. Mechanical processing of soil so that it is in the proper physical condition for planting is usually referred to as tilling; adding nutrients and trace elements is called fertilizing. Both processes are important in agricultural operations.
For these reasons (environmental enhancement, sustainability) intensive research and development in renewable fuels (including oilseed oils and alcohols) continues and has lead to a small number of commercial applications in niche markets. The future market for renewable fuel use is difficult to predict but will remain an active issue in the continuing debate on alternative fuels for vehicles including agricultural vehicles. Finally, the use of on-farm generated electricity, as opposed to that purchased from a utility, is discussed below (see also, Agriculture and Autonomous Power Supply).