Agricultural Science Simple Basic Farm Tools

A farm tool is an instrument that is used for doing work.

Types, description and their uses

1. Cutlass Description a. Has short wooden or rubber handle b. Has a slightly curved or straight blade with a very shape edge on one side while the other end is blunt. Uses a. Main function is for clearing the bush during land preparation b. Dig holes for planting seeds c. For harvesting crops e.g tuber crops d. For weeding e. Felling of trees.
2. Hoes Description Has a long or short wooden handle with a metal blade, which may either be round or rectangular in shape. The West African hoe and the West Indian hoe are the two types of hoes recognized in Africa. Uses a. For digging holes during planting b. For making ridges , heaps or mounds c. For making vegetable or nursery beds d. For weeding e. For harvesting f. For removing silt from gutters (drainage, canals)
3. The garden spade Description This is made up of a long wooden or metal handled with a grip at one end, and a broad almost flat metal blade at the other end. Uses a. For digging house foundations, canals, drains and trenches b. For leveling the soil c. For mixing concrete (cement, gravel, sand and water) d. Removing weeds from irrigation and drainage channels e. Lifting and turning of the soil
4. Shovel The shovel is similar in appearance to the spade. The only different is that the metal blade is oblong, curved and heart shaped. It also has a long wooden or metal handle with a grip at one end. Uses a. For leveling the soil b. Transferring soil from one place to another c. Mixing concrete d. Transferring manures e. Removing dirt and silt from drainage channels
5. Rake Description Have a long wooden or metal handle and a metal head with many prongs of between 10-12. The wooden handle may be about 180cm long. Uses a. To break down lumps or clods of soil already dug out into smaller particles b. Removing weeds, sticks and stones from seed beds as it is dragged along the soil surface c. Leveling the surface of the soil d. Covering seeds broadcast with a fine layer of soil
6. Garden fork This tool is similar to the spade. The main difference between the spade and the garden fork is that the garden fork has four or five metal (steel) prongs or tines, whereas the spade has a single flat metal blade. The garden fork also has a metal or wooden handle. Uses a. For turning and picking up compost materials b. Breaking lumps of soil into finer particles c. Used in moving weeds, trashes etc from the farm land after bush clearing. For effectiveness, the garden fork must be handled and used with the two hands.
7. Hand fork This is similar in appearance to the garden fork. The difference between the garden fork and hand fork are stated below. i. The garden for has a long handle whereas the hand fork has a short handle ii. The garden fork must be used with the two hands, but one can use only one hand to handle the hand fork iii. The garden fork is heavier than the hand fork. The hand fork is made up of short handle with about 3 or 4 metal prongs about 12cm long. Uses a. Used mainly for loosening up the soil in the small area e.g nursery beds. b. Used in working fertilizers or manures into vegetable beds c. For light weeding on vegetable beds and other general nursery operations.
8. Axe Description This tool is made up of a long wooden handle fixed to a thick, solid, flat metal blade made of cast iron. The metal blade is heavy. It can be rectangular or triangular in shape. Uses a. For felling big trees b. Splitting fire wood c. Removing or uprooting big stumps or roots during land preparation d. Cutting timber into logs of wood
9. Pick axe The pick axe should not be confused with the axe. The axe has only one metal head, whereas the pick axe has a double pronged steel head attached to one end of a wooden handle. One end of the prong is pointed; whereas the other end is a little bit flat. Uses a. For breaking hard soil b. Digging out trees stumps and stubborn roots c. Removing large stones from the ground
10. Mattock Description This contains of a long wooden handle inserted or fixed centrally into a cast iron blade which is flat and wide (Like the blade of a small hoe) at the front and pointed and narrow at the back Uses a. For uprooting difficult stumps and roots b. For bush clearing c. Removal of stones from the field
11. Hand trowel Description The hand trowel consists of a curved heart shaped or concave metal blade with a short wooden handle which must be well-rounded and smooth to avoid uncomfortable blistering of the hand when in use. It can be used with one hand. Uses a. For transplanting seedlings from nursery bed to the main field b. For light weeding on vegetable beds c. For mixing manure and working in organic fertilizers into the soil d. Can be used sometimes for seed planting
12. Sickle Description This is made up of a curved or sickle shaped metal blade, attached to a short wooden handle. The inner part of the blade is the sharp cutting edge, while the other part is somehow blurnt. Uses a. For harvesting cereal crops such as rice, wheat etc b. For harvesting pasture grass like guinea grass which can be fed to cattle in their stall. When using the sickle, the crop e.g rice plants to be harvested are held with one hand and the sickle with the other hand is held close to the crop. It is then drawn and the crop is harvested. They are then packed into bales.
13. Harvesting hook (go –to- hell) This conceits of a sharp curved metal blade attached to a long wooden handle. Uses For harvesting fruits of trees crops such a mango, citrus, cocoa, kola, oil palm fruits etc
14. Secateurs: These have two cutting blades which are short and curved with metal handles and a spring in between the handles. The metal handles are longer than the metal blade. It can be operated with one hand Uses: a. Trimming and pruning woody branches b. Preparation of cutting for vegetative or asexual propagation.
15. These resemble a pair of giant scissors. They can only be opened successful with both hands. It is made up of strong and sharp scissors like metal blades attached to a short handle. Uses a. Trimming of flower hedges and shrubs
16. Watering can Description A portable (easily carried) container made of galvanized iron so as to prevent rusting. It has a long sprout with perforated outlets called rose on the end of it. This produces a fine uniform spray of water when in use. It also has a handle by which it is operated. Uses a. Used especially during the dry season for watering flowers, seed or vegetable beds and newly transplanted seedlings b. To apply soluble non-corrosive inorganic fertilizers c. Can also be used to apply insecticides, herbicides against insect pests and weeds respectively.
17. Wheel barrow This is a large metal container attached to a frame with one wheel (tyre) at the front. The frame is extended at the rear to form two handles with rubber at the tip for proper handling to protect the hand from blistering. Under the container are two edges which give support to the wheel barrow when it is resting on the ground. Uses a. For transporting or carrying harvested produce from the point of harvest to the point of assemblage b. For carrying fertilizer, manure, compost, farm debris etc. c. For carrying smaller farm tools.
18. Container Apart from wheel barrows, there are other types of containers also used in agriculture. We have the following i. Baskets ii. Head pan iii. Calabash iv. Sacks Baskets are woven from oil palm fronds into different sized containers; Head pans can be made from metals with two side handles, sacks from jute or sisal plants. Baskets are used for carrying tubers of yam, cassava potatoes, maize cobs, tomato fruit etc. Calabashes used for carrying seeds for planting; Head pan for carrying seeds for planting; Head pan for carrying water or concrete during construction of farm buildings. Sacks are used for storing grains or yam flour, garri, beans, rice etc.
19. Garden lines This is a long string or cord attached at both ends to metal pins with reels and a handle Uses a. Used when planting seeds or seedlings to make the planting rows straight
20. Sieve This is made up of aluminum box frame supporting a fine wire mesh. Uses a. Soil is shaken and then rubbed through the wire mesh to break the lumps of soil into smaller particles suitable for planting seed or seedlings.
Accessory tools: These are other tools used in agriculture. Examples are pruning saw, budding knife, crowbar, mallet, dibber, chisel, hammer, bradawl, files, spanners, pincers, pliers, screw drivers.
Uses of farm tools Most of these tools are for repair work in the farm workshop
i. Pruning saw: used to cut unwanted branches of trees, diseased part of crops etc.
ii. Budding knife: used to remove buds for budding operation. Budding is a vegetative propagation method that would be fully discussed latter.
iii. Crowbar: used for removing nails, tight lids, lifting heavy objects etc.
iv. Mallet: used for hitting wood, striking pins, rods or soft metals
v. Dibber: for making holes for seeds or seedlings during planting operations
vi. Chisel: used for cutting out small areas of wood into proper shape.
Can also be used for cutting metals vii. Hammer” for knocking in nails into wood, or for beating metal flat. viii. Bradawl: used for boring holes in wood ix. Files: used for sharpening tools like axes, spades, cutlasses, hoes, saws etc. x.
Spanners: used for tightening or loosening nuts from bolts.
xi. Pincers: used for removing nails e.g as wire nails with the head off
xii. Pliers: used for holding or cutting wire xiii. Screw drivers: To turn bolts and screw it tightly. Weed A weed is an unwanted plant growing out of place.
Characteristics of weeds
1. Weed has the ability to regenerate itself
2. Weed produce many seeds which are easily dispersed
3. Weed has the ability to establish easy-grow faster than crop plants – aggressive
4. Weed has ability to survive under adverse climatic and soil conditions – persistent
5. Weeds have devices for easy dispersal
6. Weed has long period of viability Uses of weeds
1. They act as cover crop to control soil erosion e.g centrosema, calopogonium, stylosanthes
2. Weed can be used as much and compost materials. Much helps to conserve soil moisture while compost is an organic manure which improves soil fertility.
3. Weed roots help to bind the soil particles to getting thereby preventing erosion.
4. They are sources of feeds to livestock e.g guinea grass. 5. Some weeds are medicinal in nature e.g lemon grass
Effect of weed on crop plant
1. Weeds compete with crop plant for space, light, water nutrients, air
2. Weed can serve as alternate host to pests and diseasing causing organisms
3. Weed reduces the yield/quantity of crops.
4. Weed reduces the quality of crops
5. Some weeds act as parasites of crops and may kill their hosts e.g striga, dodder, mistletoe.
6. They increase costs of production. Classification of weeds
1. Based on habitat (i) aquatic weed e.g water hyacin
(ii) terestrine weed e.g goat weed, tridax
(iii) epiphytic (grow on other plants) e.g striga, dodder.
2. Based on life cycle (i) Annual (one year life span) goat weed
(ii) Biennial weeds (2 yearlife span) e.g morning glory wild carrot
. 3. Perennial (more than 2 year – life span) – elephant grass, sida acuta, spear grass.
4. Based on the type of leaves (i) broad leaf grasses Methods of weed central
Slashing – using cutlass to cut the shoot of weeds
iv. Use of plough – uproot and bury the weed
v. Rogueing
b. Cultural method i. Mulching – Mulch are spread on flat and to suppress weeds and prevent them from sprouting.
ii. Flooding- water is led to the farm land to kill the weeds
iii. Burning – the vegetation crop residue is set on fire to kill the weed seeds.
iv. Cover cropping – Fast growing legumes are planted to another weeds
v. Crop rotation – It is effective for controlling weeds associated with specific crop – the weed starve to death.
vi. Close spacing
vii. Closed season
c. Biological Method- use of living organisms to control weeds
i. Use of parasites and predators to control weeds i
i. Legume can be used to smoother weeds
iii. Some animals like cattle, sheep can also feed on weeds
iv. Insects can be used to kill some weed e.g cactoblastic is used to destroy cactus weed. d. Chemical method
This involves the use of herbicides to destroy weed. Herbicides are chemical substances that can kill weeds. Classification of herbicides
i. Based on mode of action
(i) selective herbicide – kill a particular type of weed e.g 2,4-D used in grassy/monocot plants (maize farm. Fusillade super used in cowpea farm. ii. Non-selective herbicide – kill both broad leaf and narrow leaf weeds e.g paraquad, gramoxone, round up.
iii. System – active ingredient goes from the root into the weed system and kills it. e.g Primextra, alachor, fusillade super. iv. Contact herbicides – has immediate effect on the weeds upon contact with thin e.g paraquat, diquat, gramoxone.
2. Time of appliances i. Pre-plant herbicides – applied before seed are planted.
ii. Pre-emergence herbicides – applied before planted seeds emerge e.g Galex for maize, Diurron for cassava.
iii. Post emergence herbicides- applied after the emergence of both crops and weeds. Post – emergence herbicides are context in action. Benefits
of herbicides – Easy to apply – Fast in action – Cover large area of land – Saves labour Disadvantages of using herbicides – Some benefitial
organisms may be killed – They are poisonous to man and animals – Air, water and soil are polluted – Requires technical knowledge Integrated
Control Method: Combination of two or more of the methods discussed. Effects of cultural control method – Fire may kill beneficial organisms –
Burning may be difficult to control – Fire destroys organic matter – Tillage operations destroy soil structure that may lead to erosion Effects to
biological control – Predators may later feed on the crops – Introduced plant may be difficult to be controlled Wind dispersal methods A. By wind –
Seeds are very small and light – Possession of pappus hours e.g Emilic – Possession of parachute – e.g Tridax – Some seeds are fluffy outgrowth –
e.g Cotton B. By Man/Animal – Some are edible, pass through the alimentary canal and deposited in soil – Some posses adhesive hook e.g
desmodium, Boerharia diffusa C. By water – Water proof epicarp and light e.g cocoanut from seeds of some legumes and grasses. D. Explosive
Mechanism – Dry pod of weed Sph+ open and throw the seeds to some distance e.g water leaf para rubber, calopogonium, puerana, centrose sida
acuta – Farm tools – Tools and equipment such as cutlass, plough may have seed of weed stuck on them. If not cleaned properly before use may
transfer seeds of weeds to new areas. Assignment 1. Assuming the volume of water poured into each funnel is 50ml and that the amount of water
drained in each case is Sandy soil = 35ml Loamy soil = 25ml Clayey soil = 15ml Calculate the amount of water retained in each soil simple 2. Cribs
for storing maize cobs maize husks have been removed. The crib can be made of bamboo, wood or iron b. Silos for storing harvested grains such
as maize, millet, guinea corn, cowpea etc. The grains are stored loosely in bulk without putting them in shape and constructed of metal aluminium
rubber or concrete. c. Rhombus for storing guinea corn, millet or maize cobs. They are made of mud with thatched roof d. Cold stores/deep
freezer to freeze farm products especially meat and meat products. e. Fridges : These are used to keep farm products such as vegetables, fruits
fresh. f. Barn- used to store yam tube cocoyam g. Bins-Small containers to store small quantities of grains. Crop pests Crop pest can be defined as
an animal that attacks and damages crop on the field or in the store. These include insects, rodents, birds, monkey snails. Insect pests cause most
damage to crops. Classification of pests Insects pests 1. Classification based on their mouth parts a. Biting and chewing – Mouth part is made up of
upper jaw (mandibles) lower jaws (maxillae) and upper lip (labrum) – Mouth part is adapted (modified) for biting and chewing leaves, fruits
young/tender stems of crops. Examples; grasshoppers, crickets, termites, locusts army worms, caterpillars (larvae of butterflies crickets, termites). b.
Piercing and sucking insect pests. – Mouth part made up of stylets and probosas Pest of crops Invertebrates Vertebrates pests Insect/est Snail
Worms Mammals (rodents) Aves (Birds) Based on mode of feeding Based on location Biting & Chewing insect Boring insect Piercing and Sucking
insect Field pests Storage pests – They pierce the plant to suck the sap (juice) – They are vectors of viral diseases – The hole created serve as entry
point for disease – causing organisms – Some introduce poison substances into the crops. Examples: Whitefly, aphid, thrip, mealy bug, scale insect,
cotton stainer, capsids (mirids), shield bugs, leaf hopper, moths, green spider, mites etc. c. Boring insects – Mouth part modified into a rostrum –
Bone holes into stored grains and stored products – They reduce the viability of seeds – Opening created may serve as site of secondary infection
Examples: maize weevil, rice weevil, sorghum weed bean beetle, yam beetle, cotton boll worm. 2. Classification of insect pest based on location a.
Field – These attack crops on the field Examples: grasshoppers, crickets, locust, cotton strainers, aphids, crickets, termites, caterpillars (Stem borers),
capsids, mealy bugs. b. Storage pests These are pest that attack crop products in the store Examples: Bean beetle, rice, maize weevils Non-insect
pests a. Mammals – Attack crops on the field and in store – Contaminate grains with faeces and urine – Some transit diseases Examples: Rodents
(Small mammals (squirrel, wild rabbits, porcupine, grass cutter rats) monkeys. b. Birds – They possess strong beaks to peck and crack seeds of
grains. Some dig up planted seed and eat them up (sparrow, dove). Weaver birds remove leave from palm fronds and coconut trees to construct
their nests. Some birds feed on ripen, pawpaw, guava, mango thereby reducing the market value. Field and storage pests of major crops Economic
importance (effects) of pests in crops
1. Quality of products is reduced
2. Quantity (yield) of crops is also reduced
3. It reduces viability (ability to germinate) crops
4. Control of pests leads to increase in cost of production 5. Some of the insect pests are vectors of viral diseases. 6. Farm
produce is made unattractive 7. Profit of farmers is also reduced Methods of pests control a. Physical method includes: hand picking, setting traps
to catch rodents, use of short fun or caterpillar. Others are use of scare crop or poisonous bait, fencing round the farm with wire mesh/net. b.
Cultural methods. It involves cultural practices associated with crop production. These include tillage, weeding, good sanitation, burning of crop
residue. Others are early planting and harvesting of crops, crop rotation, fallowing and planting of resistant varieties. c. Chemical : It involves the
use of chemical substances called pesticide to kill the pests. May be in form liquid, powder, tablets, acrosol or granular form. Examples are
insecticides rodenticides, anades nematicides, molliscides. Fumigants in form of tablets release gases that are inhaled by insect pests examples are
methyl bromide, ethyl bromide, phostoxin tablets. d. Biological method: It involves the use of natural enemies of pest to eradicate them. Examples:
cat can be used to kill rats in store wasp can be used to control white fly lizards, toads can be used to control some insect
(Visited 153 times, 1 visits today)
error: Content is protected !!