John Deere, Case and Fendt at work! Siku Farmland in Neumünster, Ger

John Deere, Case and Fendt at work! Siku Farmland in Neumünster, Germany. - RC Tractors

Precision seeders place single seeds at predetermined intervals in evenly spaced rows to provide an optimum plant population using pretreated seeds suited to mechanical metering under gravity and with high germination and establishment potential. Plants with lesser germination potential or those requiring an earlier growing date (rice, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, tobacco) may be transplanted typically in biodegradable containers in which the seedling has been established in greenhouses.

Researchers in California have demonstrated the feasibility of a selective field lettuce harvester where mature lettuce heads are identified by an X-ray signal through the lettuce head, which then instructs the harvester accordingly.

Agricultural mechanization has involved the partial or full replacement of human energy and animal-powered equipment (e.g. plows, seeders and harvesters) by engine-driven equipment. Most of this is tractor driven and to a lesser extent self-propelled equipment (including harvesters, sprayers, fertilizer applicators, planters and seeders). Agricultural mechanization has been pioneered in North America and Europe and more recently in Japan, and is now spreading rapidly throughout the world. Notwithstanding such progress, a significant element of human and animal powered mechanization remains, particularly in the poorer regions of the world.
Advances in technology have been central to the dramatic progress in the mechanization of farming practices throughout the world. Of greatest importance has been the development of the internal combustion engine and its utilization in farm tractors, combine harvesters and other self-propelled agricultural machinery.Human and animal powered mechanization systems (Figures 2 and 3) are described in detail in Human and Animal Powered Machinery, EOLSS on-line, 2002. The drudgery, long hours and low pay typically associated with these systems make rural life in the developing countries an unattractive career for young men and women.

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Using state-of-the-art technology, a well-maintained combine harvester operated effectively in a mature crop, can attain clean grain recoveries of 99 % – a remarkable achievement! Work rates in excess of one hectare (10 000 m 2 ) per hour are readily achievable with two operators, one to drive the combine, the other to drive a tractor-trailer or a truck into which the combine periodically empties its grain for transportation to the farm granary or direct to the local grain merchant or storage facility.

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