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TOPIC 29:

FARM TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Farm tools and equipment are machines that are used by farmers to carry out farm
activities. They increase the speed at which work is done, simplify work and reduce
drudgery. A tool is the simplest machine that is used to perform an activity on the farm.
Equipment are more complex than tools and most of the farm equipment are operated
using power from external sources such as engines and animals like oxen, horses,
donkeys and camels. Farm tools and equipment can be classified as gardening tools,
farm workshop tools, livestock equipment, cultivation equipment, planting equipment,
crop protection equipment and harvesting equipment.
GARDENING TOOLS
Hand hoe (Jembe)
This is a common tool found almost on all farms in Uganda. It is used for preparing
gardens, planting, weeding and harvesting crops like irish and sweet potatoes, cassava,
yams and groundnuts.
Figure 29.1 Hand hoe (Jembe)

Forked hoe (Forked jembe)


It is specially designed for cultivation in places where there is couch grass and spear
grass. It does not cut the underground stems (rhizomes) of the weeds but pulls them out
of the soil. It is the best tool to use in stony areas where the hand hoe is likely to be
damaged.
Figure 29.2 Forked hoe

Hand rake
A rake is used for levelling the soil surface especially in nursery beds, breaking large soil
crumbs into small ones, removing small stones and weeds from seedbeds, covering
vegetable seeds after broadcasting and collecting together cut grass and uprooted
rhizomes of weeds in gardens.
Figure 29.3 Rake

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Gardeners hoe (Dutch hoe)
It is used for weeding in close spaces between rows of vegetable crops whose delicate
stems and roots can easily be damaged if an ordinary hoe which has a broad blade is
used.
Figure 29.4 Gardeners hoe

Trowel
This commonly used for uprooting or lifting seedlings from the nursery bed during
transplanting, and also digging shallow holes on beds. It can also be used to mix soil in
the nursery bed with manure or fertilizers.
Figure 29.5 Gardeners trowel

Hand fork
The hand fork is used for softening the soil and weeding nursery beds. It can also be
used for transplanting seedlings.
Figure 29.6 Garden fork

Sickle
This is used for cutting grass, small thickets and bushes. It is also used for harvesting
crops like sorghum, rice and wheat. The cutting edge may be serrated or smooth.
Figure 29.7 Sickle

Panga (Cutlass)
Pangas are common cutting tools on farms. They are used for felling small trees needed
for building purposes or for firewood, grass for thatching houses and chopping fodder for
feeding livestock. They are also used for cutting down the vegetation during land
clearing.
Figure 29.8 Panga

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Spade
This is used for moving soil from one place to another nearby place. For example,
compost pits, pit latrines and when digging ditches for soil and water conservation on the
farm. They are also used in construction work such as mixing cement, sand and
aggregate to make concrete and mixing cement and sand to make mortar.
Figure 29.9 Spade

Shovel
The shovel is used for the same purpose as a spade. It is pointed at the tip while the
cutting edge of the spade is flat.
Figure 29.10 Shovel

Wheelbarrow
It is used for transporting small loads on the farm. It can be made of timber or metal.
Metallic wheelbarrows with pneumatic tyres are long lasting.
Figure 29.11 Wheelbarrow

Pruning saw
Is used for pruning tree crops (e.g., citrus, coffee and tea) and for cutting hard, old stems
and undesirable branches of trees.
Figure 29.12 Pruning saw

Axe
An axe is used to cut down tress at ground level and split firewood. It has a thick head
and on the other side has a sharp cutting edge.
Figure 29.13 Axe

Watering can
This is used for supplying water to potted plants and seedlings in the nursery beds.
Figure 29.14 Watering can

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Slasher
It is used for slashing or cutting down short grass in the compound and in the gardens. It
can also be used for trimming hedges.
Figure 29.15 Slasher

Pocket knives
Pocket knives of all shapes and sizes have a variety of uses on the farm, which include
making accurate cuts during propagation of flowers and fruit trees, harvesting crops like
millet and sorghum, preparing food before cooking and skinning animals.
Figure 29.16 Pocket knife

Pick axe (Mattock)


This is a tool used for digging up stones and tree roots during land clearing and seedbed
preparation, particularly on land where tractor or ox-ploughing is to be done.
Figure 29.17 Pick axe (Mattock)

Manure fork
This is good for handling manure on the farm, e.g., turning over manure in the compost
pit as well as loading and off loading manure to be used on the farm.
Figure 29.18 Manure fork

FARM WORKSHOP TOOLS


Jack planes
They are of many types, and they include wooden and metallic jack planes. It shaves the
surfaces of timber to make them plain, flat and smooth.
Figure 29.19 Jack plane

Smoothing plane
The smoothing plane is also called a finishing plane and is used to finish the surface of
timber after the jack plane has been used.

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Figure 29.20 Smoothing plane

Pliers
Theses are used for holding firmly where a strong grip is needed. They are also used for
cutting small wires and nails.
Figure 29.21 Pliers

Pincers
The pincers help in cutting nails to required lengths and also withdrawing nails from
timber.
Figure 29.22 Pincers

Saw set pliers


This tool is used for setting the teeth of saws. It is used for cutting the blade of a saw to
make the teeth on it.
Figure 29.23 Saw set pliers

Saws
They are of many types, and they include the cross-cut saw (hand saw), rip saw, tenon
saw and dovetail saw. They are essentially used for cutting and shaping wood. The
difference can be noticed by the nature of work produced. The cross-cut saw is used for
cutting across the fibres of wood. Every tooth on it acts as a cutting knife. The rip saw
has larger teeth than the cross-cut saw, and is used for cutting along the fibres of the
wood.
Figure 29.24(a) Cross-cut saw

Figure 29.24(b) Tenon saw

Figure 29.24(c) Rip saw

Power chain saw


It is useful for logging, chopping and splitting trees into timber boards.
Figure 29.25 Chopping / splitting a tree using a power chain saw

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Compass saw
It has a narrow and tapered blade. It is used for cutting curved surfaces and narrow
places like the holes. It can also cut irregular lines.
Figure 29.26 Compass saw

Spoke shave
It is used for cutting and shaping circular work and forming the curved edges of boards.
The edges may be concave or convex.
Figure 29.27 Spoke shave

Hammers
The hammer drives and removes nails in wood, rivets metals, packs and opens boxes,
bends and straightens metals, etc. They are available in many sizes and types.
(a) Claw hammer
It is the most common type of hammer. Its main function is to drive nails in and out of the
wood. It can also straighten nails if they bend before they are properly driven in the wood.
Figure 29.28 Claw hammer

(b) Cross pane hammer


It has a flat end that is chisel shaped. It used for riveting and bending or stretching nails
as required.
Figure 29.29 Cross pane hammer

(c) Ball pane hammer


Its main function is for hammering but it can also be very good for riveting.
Figure 29.30 Ball pane hammer

Clamps
These are tools used for gripping firmly the objects that are being worked on, e.g., pieces
of timber during planing, nailing and screwing; iron bars during cutting and welding.
Figure 29.30 G clamp

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Mallet
This may possess a wooden or plastic head. It is used for hammering chisels into wood,
wooden pegs when marking plots and joining pieces of wood together. Mallets should
never be used to hammer metallic objects, as they would easily get spoilt.
Figure 29.31 Mallet

Brace and auger bit


This is used for boring or drilling holes in wood. During boring, the head of the brace is
pressed hard and then the handle turned round in a circular motion. The revolving action
of the brace turns the bit which then bores the wood.
Figure 29.32(a) Brace

Figure 29.32(b) Auger bit

Hand drill
It is used for drilling small holes in wood or metal. When drilling holes in metal, a few
drops of thin oil should be placed into the hole to reduce the heat.
Figure 29.33 Hand drill

Try square or square


This is used for making accurate right angle measurements when planning and cutting
timber and during construction work (e.g., when making doors and windows, building
walls, etc.).
Figure 29.34 Try square

Screw driver
It drives screws in and out metal or wood. They are varying in sizes.
Figure 29.35 Screw driver

Chisels
They are necessary for removing thin layers of material that are not required when
shaping surface. They are of two major types, namely wood chisels and cold chisels.

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Wood chisels used for woodwork, while cold chisels are used for shaping metals and
stones.
Figure 29.36(a) Wood chisel

Figure 29.36(b) Cold chisel

Spanners
These are used for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts. They are of many types and
sizes. When carrying out any work, one must use the size of spanner that fits in order to
maintain the proper shape of bolt-head and nut-head, other wise using a spanner of
wrong size damages the corners of the bolt-head.
Figure 29.37 Spanners

Spirit level
A spirit level is used for checking the straightness of vertical and horizontal surfaces. It is
made of a hard wood casing with a glass tube in the middle. The glass tube has alcohol
with a bubble of air. A surface may be taken to be accurately horizontal when the air
bubble is exactly in the centre of the tube.
Figure 29.38 Spirit level

Oil stone
This is used for sharpening cutting tools (e.g., blades of chisels and jack planes) in the
workshop. It is usually kept in a box with a lid.
Figure 29.39 Oil stone and box

Greasing gun
It is used for applying grease in large machines, such as tractors and ploughs. The
grease is forced into spaces between moving surfaces through the nipples.
Figure 29.40 Greasing gun

Tape measure
It is used for taking measurements of required lengths. The tape should not be rubbed
against rough surfaces.
Figure 29.41 Tape measure

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Steel tape
It is commonly used in building works and workshops for taking measurements. The steel
tape should be protected from wet conditions, as these create rusting.
Figure 29.42 Steel tape

Files and rasps


These help in smoothing surfaces of metals and wood. Sometimes the files may be used
for sharpening knives and other cutting instruments such as slashers and pangas. Files
for smoothening wood are rougher than those for filing metal.
Figure 29.43(a) File

Figure 29.43(b) Rasp

LIVESTOCK TOOLS

Dairy equipment
Milk pail (bucket) and cans
Pails and cans are used as containers for holding milk. Pails are used when milking,
while the milk cans are used during storage and transportation of milk to the markets.
Figure 29.44(a) Milk pail

Figure 29.44(b) Milk can

Milk containers and equipment (milk pails, milk cans, towels, etc.) should always be kept
clean to avoid or minimise contamination and spoilage of milk.
Strip cup
This is used before carrying out effective milking for checking the presence of mastitis in
a cow. It is fitted inside with a black plastic rubber disc that forms a dark background on
which abnormalities in milk (e.g., clots, blood spots and pus) can be observed properly.
Figure 29.45 Strip cup

Milk towels
These are special pieces of cloth used for cleaning the cows udder during milking. They
are dipped in warm water containing a detergent and a disinfectant.

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Cleaning brushes
These are important when cleaning the dairy utensils such as cups, pails, bottles,
buckets and cans.
Figure 29.46 Cleaning brushes

Milk strainer
This is a big funnel-shaped metallic equipment used for filtering milk. It has a set of two
perforated discs between which the filter pads are placed.
Figure 29.47 Milk strainer

Milk measuring cup


This is plastic cup with graduations of one side. It used for measuring accurately small
quantities of milk (e.g., half or one litre) when selling to customers.
Figure 29.48 Measuring cup

Milk separator
It is a useful machine for separating cream from milk immediately after milking. It is
advisable to warm the milk before doing the job.
Figure 29.49 Milk/cream separator

Butter churn
This is an equipment used for making butter from cream. It removes whey (water
component of the cream) from cream leaving behind pure fat that makes butter.
Figure 29.50 Butter churn

Chaff cutter
This is used for chopping fodder before it is given to livestock. It is mainly used by dairy
farmers who practice stall feeding. Chopping reduces wastage of forage by the animals
and increases intake by the animals.
Figure 29.51 Butter churn

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Weighing scale
This is used to weigh the amounts of feeds (e.g., dairy meal) given to each animal and
the milk from each cow after milking.
Figure 29.52 Milk weighing scale

Drenching gun
This is an instrument used for giving drugs to livestock. The drugs are administered
through the mouth. This treatment is usually against internal parasites like the liver flukes
and worms.
Figure 29.53 Drenching gun

Rubber ring elastrator


This is an equipment used for stretching a rubber ring that is used to castrate young
bulls. It stretches a rubber ring and releases it onto the neck of scrotum. The rubber ring
squeezes the neck of scrotum cutting of blood supply to the testes. The scrotum
eventually falls off.
Figure 29. 54 Rubber ring elastrator

Nose ring
This is used to ease the handling of oxen during working. It is fixed in the nasal cartilage
of a bull, and then a string tied on to the ring. For bulls, a leading stick is used to lead the
animal around the farm for exercise.
Figure 29.55 Nose ring

Burdizzo
This is used for castrating young male animals. The burdizzo presses and crushes the
spermatic cords of young bulls so that there is no more blood supply from the body to the
testicles. The testicles later become shrivelled and non-functional.
Figure 29.56 Burdizzo

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Trocar and cannula
It is an instrument used to treat bloat in ruminants. It is used to pierce the left side of the
rumen to allow the accumulated gases to escape, thus relieving the sick animal.
Figure 29.57 Trocar and cannula

Halter
This is used for restraining cattle. It is either made of leather or specially designed rope. It
has a nose piece which is fixed around the muzzle, and a head piece which is fixed
around the neck just behind the horns and ears. A farmer can used a strong ordinary rope
to make a simple halter when need arises.
Figure 29.58 Halter

Thermometer
It is an instrument used for taking the temperature of animals that are suspected to be
sick. It can also help a farmer to establish whether the sick animals temperature has
gone below or above the normal.
Figure 29.59 Thermometer

Syringe
This is used for administering injections to sick animals. It has graduations in millilitres for
measuring the quantity of drug to be administered.
Figure 29.60 Syringe

Knapsack sprayer
This is used for applying acaricides animals. The efficiency of sprayers depends on the
proper use and regular maintenance practices such as, washing it after use and storage.
Figure 29.61 Spraying cattle using knapsack sprayer
Figure 29.62 Bucket sprayer (Ref: Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By Nkurunziza. Page 64,
Fig 7.25(a)

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Wire strainer
This is used to tighten fence wires during fencing before they are fixed onto the fence
posts.
Figure 29.63 Wire strainer

Splicing tool
It is used to join two ends of a wire by weaving the strands of one wire into the strands of
other wire.
Figure 29.64 Splicing tool

Poultry equipment
Food/feed troughs and fountains
These are containers used for holding feed and water for poultry birds. Food/feed troughs
include feed hoppers and chick feeders. Fountains are also called waterers, drinkers and
water troughs. Food/feed troughs and fountains are of different sizes and shapes.
Figure 29.65 Food trough

Figure 29.66 Water trough (fountain)

Laying (nest) boxes


These are special wooden boxes provided in a deep litter layer house for birds to lay
there the eggs. A piece of cloth or sisal bag is fixed at the entrance of the nest box like a
curtain so as to provide privacy to the hens when laying eggs.
Figure 29.67 Laying (nest) box

CROP PROTECTION TOOLS


Spray pumps
They are used for spraying or applying chemicals against pests and diseases that attack
crops. They range from simple hand operated to the fully mechanised ones that are
operated by tractors. The most common ones are the simple hand sprayer, knapsack
sprayer, motorised knapsack and the boom sprayer (tractor operated sprayer. The hand

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sprayer is used for spraying against indoor pests such as houseflies, cockroaches and
mosquitoes, as well as storage insects in small farm stores.
Figure 29.68 Hand sprayer (Ref: Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By Nkurunziza. Page 61, Fig 7.19)
Figure 29.69 Knap sack sprayer (Ref: Principles and practices of agriculture, Vol.2. Page 154, Fig 15.3)
Figure 29.70 Motorised knapsack sprayer (Ref: Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By P.C. Nkurunziza.
Page 63, Fig 7.23)

Figure 29.71 Boom sprayer (Refs: East African Agriculture. By D.N. Ngugi, 3rd edition, Page 67;
Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By P.C. Nkurunziza. Page 63, Fig 7.24)

CULTIVATION EQUIPMENT
Mouldboard plough
It is designed to turn the furrow slices to the right of the plough. It works best in areas
where the soil is not very hard, or sticky and the vegetation is not too tall or thick. It is not
recommended for use in areas that are waterlogged and full of obstacles like stones and
roots of trees as they can easily get stuck.
Components of the mouldboard plough
Figure 29.70 Mouldboard plough

(i)

Beam. Supports the whole implement and provides the attaching units to the
plough. The complete assembly known as plough Body

(ii)

Mouldboard. Turns, inverts and shatters the furrow slices and throws them to the
right.

(iii)

Share. The cutting blade cuts the furrow slice horizontally and starts the lifting
movement which is continued by the mouldboard.

(iv)

Frog. It fastens the frame on the mouldboard as well as the land side. This is
bolted on the beam.

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(v)

Furrow wheel. Keeps the plough steady in position i.e., it counteracts the forces
created by the cutting action of the share. It enables the implement to go in a
straight line.

(vi)

Depth wheel. This controls the depth of penetration when the depth adjustment
lever is applied.

(vii)

Landside. Creates suction which aids the plough to keep at the same depth . It
also separates the cut furrow slice from unploughed land.

(vii)

Disc coulter. Use to cut a small furrow slice a head of the mouldboard plough
making it easy to make a good ploughing job. It cuts through the trash which may
prevent proper ploughing or entry of the share into the soil.

(viii) Skimmer (skim coulter). This is fitted on to the disc coulter. Its function is to
completely bury the surface trash, and also prevents weeds growing through the
edges of the ploughed slice by inverting the cut slices properly.
(ix)

Cross bar. Provides two attachments to the tractor.

Advantages of using a mouldboard plough


(i)

It can be used in various types of soil.

(ii)

It completely turns the slice thus covering the vegetation.

(iii)

It can be used after crops have been harvested especially the annual crops.

(iv)

It operates on uniform depth if desired.

Disadvantages of a mouldboard plough


(i)

It is not convenient for virgin land and can be seriously damaged by hidden
obstacles in the ground, e.g., roots.

(ii)

It tends to create a hard pan in the soil when frequently used on land.

(iii)

Its maintenance costs are higher than those of a disc plough.

Routine maintenance of a mouldboard plough


(i)

Before starting a days work, check on the condition of the shares. Sharpen
and tighten them as desired.

(ii)

After working, clean the surfaces of the implement.

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(iii)

Inspect all parts of the plough after work and repair or replace all damaged
parts.

(iv)

At the end of the ploughing season, apply oil on all parts that are likely to rust
(e.g., mouldboards) and grease all the bearings such as those of the land wheel
and disc coulters.

(v)

The plough should be stored under shed to protect it from the sun and rain.

Disc plough
Figure 29.71 Disc plough

It is convenient for operation on virgin land where the mouldboard plough cannot work
efficiently. It does not have a share but instead has concave discs which rotate, cutting
into the soil and the furrow slice rises up in the concavity of the disc to be broken up as it
does so and then throws it side ways. It is adapted for the following conditions.
(i)

Sticky soils and soils having hard pans.

(ii)

Dry, hard ground that cant be penetrated by a mouldboard plough.

(iii)

Rough, stony and rooty ground where the disc will ride over the obstacles
easily.

(iv)

Peaty soils where the mouldboard plough will not turn the slice.

In order for the disc plough to work satisfactorily under various conditions, the following
adjustments are made.
(i)

The plough is attacked or mounted onto the three-point linkage of a tractor.

(ii)

The depth of work is set by manipulation of the depth wheel.

(iii)

Adjusting the top link so that the beam is horizontal. The plough should be
levelled by adjusting the lifting rod.

(iv)

Adjusting the furrow width, which is altered by changing the position of the disc
in relation to the beam to which it is attached.

(v)

Alteration of the vertical angle of the disc affects penetration of soil by the disc.
The shorter the top link, the more vertical the disc.

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(vi)

The ride thrust upon the plough when the furrows are moving over the discs is
counteracted by the provision of rear wheel thrust wheel maintaining a pressure
causing the disc to cut into soil.

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Routine maintenance of the disc plough
(i)

Before starting a days work, check and tighten loose nuts and bolts to avoid
losing them and accidents.

(ii)

After a days work, clean the discs and scrapers

(iii)

Lubricate all moving parts and apply grease in the bearings (i.e., coulter
bearings) as recommended.

(iv)

Replace all broken and worn out parts.

(v)

At the end of a seasons work, plough moulds should be coated with oil to
prevent rusting.

Ox mouldboard plough
This is operated using oxen or bullocks as source of power. It is used for ploughing,
ridging and weeding.
Figure 29.72 Ox mouldboard plough (Ref: Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By Nkurunziza. Page 85)

Components of the ox mouldboard plough and their functions


(i)

Beam. This is where all the other parts of the plough are attached

(ii)

Handles. They are held by the operator so that he/she can steer the plough
when it is being used (e.g., during ploughing).

(iii)

Share. Has a sharp cutting edge that cuts the furrow slice.

(iv)

Mouldboard. Receives the furrow slice cut by the share and inverts it.

(v)

Frog. This is a metal piece where the mouldboard, landside and the share are
fixed.

(vi)

Landside. This slides along the furrow wall and stabilises the plough by
counteracting the pressure (side thrust) exerted by the furrow slice on the
mouldboard.

(vii)

Draft rod. This is where the chain for pulling the plough forward is attached.

(viii)

Depth rod. This is used to adjust the depth and width of operation.

(ix)

Hake. This provides an attachment on the beam where the depth rod is
regulated

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(x)

Land wheel/depth wheel. This helps to regulate the depth of ploughing. It also
enables the operator to estimate the furrow slice within a reasonable distance from
the previous furrow line.

Chisel plough
This plough is used for breaking up hard pans. The practice / operation of breaking down
the hard pan is called subsoiling. The sharp points on the rigid tines are able to penetrate
deeper than the disc and mouldboard ploughs and stir up the subsoil without bringing it to
the surface. Breaking down the hard pans improves drainage and root penetration of soil.
It may be operated using animal or tractor power.
Figure 29.73 Chisel plough (Ref: East African Agriculture. By D.N. Ngugi, 3rd Ed., Page 316, Fig. 20.23.

Rotary cultivator
This is an implement used for producing very fine seedbeds. It can also be used to
incorporate farmyard manure, crop residues and fertilizers into the soil. It receives power
from the tractor P.T.O shaft to the rotor shaft, which has L-shaped blades designed to
break up soil.
Figure 29.74 Rotary cultivator

Harrows
These are used to break up large clods of soil so as to produce seedbeds with fine tilth.
Such seedbeds are required when planting/sowing small seeds like those of sorghum,
finger millet, rice and wheat. They include disc harrows, spring-tined or spring-toothed
harrows, spike-toothed or peg-toothed harrows, zigzag harrows and chain harrows. Disc
harrows have a good cutting and compacting action, thus can be able to produce a good
seedbed under difficult conditions. Spring-tined harrows can uproot rhizomatous weeds
such as couch grass and spear grass.
Figure 29.74(a) Disc harrow

Figure 29.74(b) Spring-tined harrow

Figure 29.74(c) Spike-toothed harrow

Figure 29.74(d) Zigzag harrow

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Figure 29.74(e) Chain harrow (For harrows, check in Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By P.C.
Nkurunziza. Page 89 - 90)

Routine maintenance of harrows


(i)

Lubricate the bearings and movable joints as recommended by manufactures

(ii)

Repair or replace all damaged and worn out parts

(iii)

Tighten all bolts and nuts to avoid getting lost or causing accidents

(iv)

At the end of the season, they should be oiled and/or greased to prevent
rusting

(v)

They should be stored under shed to protect them from rain and sunshine.

PLANTING EQUIPMENT
Seeders and planters
These are used to plant seeds and apply fertilizers properly in the soil. Planters and
seeders may be hand pushed, animal drawn, or tractor powered. Planters and seeders
are designed specifically for:
(i)

Saving time since large fields can be planted in a short time.

(ii)

Uniform sowing and covering of seeds, hence germinating at the same time.

(iii)

Spacing the seeds evenly and regulating plant population.

(iv)

Planting and applying a fertilizer in one operation.

Figure 29.75 Seeder (Ref: Farm equipment, machinery, structures and buildings. By Anyanzo Page 158,
figure 720(c).

Figure 29.76 Planter (Check in Kabanyolo and take a photo)

Major components planters and seeders


(i)

A container for seeds known as seed hopper where seeds for sowing are
placed.

(ii)

A fertilizer hopper if fertilizers are to be distributed/applied in the seedbed.

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(iii)

Seed and fertilizer metering systems at the bases of seed and fertilizer
hoppers. These consist of special plates (seed plate and fertilizer plate) with holes
through which seeds and fertilizer pass from hoppers to the delivery tubes.

(iv)

Seed and fertilizer delivery tubes through which seeds and fertilizer pass from
the plates and drop into the soil.

(v)

Furrow opener (coulter) which makes a uniform channel or furrow in which


seeds and fertilizers drop.

(vi)

Drive shaft which is driven by the chain. It makes the seed and fertilizer plates
rotate.

(vii)

Press wheel which covers and presses the seeds

HARVESTING EQUIPMENT
Combine harvester
This is a complex machine used for harvesting, threshing, winnowing (cleaning) and
bagging grain such as soya bean, maize, rice and wheat on large scale farms.
Figure 29.77 Combine harvester (Check in Farm structures, tools and Machinery, By Nkurunziza. Page 92,
and East African Agriculture. By D.N. Ngugi, 3rd edition, Page 323.

Main components of a combine harvester


Component
Cutting knives

Function
These are fixed on a cutter bar. They cut the crop plants during

Pick up reel

harvesting operation.
Picks up crop plants that have been cut. It can be adjusted to a

Crop elevator
Strippers

height and speed that does not heavy seed losses.


Carries the crop plants to the thresher
They remove the seeds from their sheaths or covers (e.g., they

Threshing drum

remove husks from maize cobs)


It beats or threshes the crop plants so as to separate the seeds from
plants. It is adjusted to run or rotate at a speed that gives complete

Straw shakers

threshing.
They separate the seeds/grains from the straw

and walkers
Fan

Part of the winnowing mechanism that blows air that separates


seeds from chaff. Its speed is adjusted to control the amount of air so

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Grain sieves

that seeds are not blown away with chaff.


For separating grain from chaff by allowing chaff to pass through with

Grain elevator

a current of air from the fan.


This elevates (raises) clean seeds to the grain tank

Maintenance of farm tools and equipment


Tools and equipment can stay useful for a long time and offer maximum efficiency during
use if they are cared for properly. Such care includes the following.
1.

Farm tools should be kept in a dry store and equipment like


ploughs should be kept under shelter. Tools lying all over on the farm are on a high
risk of being stolen, or run over by machines and sooner or later, are broken. Direct
strong sunshine loosens the handles of tools and rain causes the iron parts to rust.

2.

Tools and equipment kept in the store should be properly


arranged to avoid breakages and injuries when taking them out for use.

3.

Tools must be cleaned right after use. If they are to be kept for
a long period, metal parts should be coated with oil or painted to prevent rusting.

4.

Tools with sharp blades such as knives, axes and cutlasses


should be sharpened regularly. If they are used while blunt, they can break easily.

5.

Bolts and nuts of farm machines should be inspected and


tightened regularly to avoid getting lost and accidents.

6.

Moving parts should be greased or oiled to reduce wear and


tear, and to increase efficiency.

7.

Tyre pressure of wheeled equipment such as harrows should


be checked regularly and adjusted accordingly.

8.

Tools and equipment should be used for the purpose for which
they were designed, as this reduces chances of wear and tear. For example, a
mattock should be used to uproot tree stumps instead of a hand hoe.

9.

They

should

be

serviced

regularly

following

the

manufacturers recommendations. Worn out parts should be replaced or repaired.


Revision questions
1.

(a) List ten examples of simple tools used in


(i)

gardening, (ii) farm workshop, (iii) dairy farming

23
(b) Give one use of each tool listed in (a) above
2

(a) Draw and label the structure of the mouldboard plough


(b) State the function of each of the parts you labelled in (a) above

(a) Outline the advantages and disadvantages of using a mouldboard plough


(b) What care must be given to the mouldboard plough to stay in good working
condition?

(a) Outline the conditions that favour using the disc plough to prepare a seedbed
(b) What adjustments should a farmer make on the disc plough to enable it work
satisfactorily under various conditions?

(a) Outline the major components of the ox mouldboard plough and state the
function of each component
(b) Why is the ox mouldboard plough not widely used by Ugandan farmers?

(a) Distinguish between a farm tool and a farm equipment.


(b) Suggest measures a farmer can take to keep the farm tools and equipment in
good working condition?