Farm Power

TOPIC: Farm Power




• What is Power?


• Sources of Farm Power




Power is defined as the rate of doing work or the rate of expenditure of energy. Farm power is one of the most expensive and critical inputs when growing a rice crop. Humans, animals and machines are all used as sources of power in agriculture production. When undertaking different operations on a farm, a certain amount of work is required to complete the task.


Farm power can be obtained from the following sources
1. Human Power
2. Mechanical Power
3. Animal Power
4. Electrical Power
5. Solar Power
6. Wind Power
7. Water Power
8. Bio gas


Human Power
This kind of power is provided by human beings. It is the most common kind of power in farm operations. With the aid of his intelligence, man uses his hand to perform certain farm operations. Human labour is used with traditional tools. It involves more people than all other forms of power. Human labour can be hired, it may be skilled and unskilled. Human beings are the main source of power for operating small tools and implements. They are also employed for doing stationary work like threshing, winnowing, chaff cutting and lifting irrigation Water.


Farm Operations which require Human power
Crop Production –
i. Clearing of Land
ii. Land Preparation
iii. Stumping
iv. Planting
v. Weeding
vi. Harvesting
vii. Storage
viii. Food Processing


Advantages of Human Power
1. The intelligence of Man is at play and its an asset to farm operations
2. Readily available in all farm operations
3. It controls all other forms of farm power
4. For jobs with precision, Human power is used
5. Easy to control and readily available
6. Used with traditional tools


Disadvantages of Human Power
1. Cannot perform tedious operations like land clearing without getting fatigued
2. Poor state of health may affect his performance
3. It may be expensive
4. Human power is not stable and efficiency decreases with age
5. It consumes time and its less efficient
6. Human power can not be used on commercial basis


Animal Power
This is the most important source of power which is derived from animals. They are used to perform certain kinds of farm operations. Animals like bull are used for pulling ploughs, harrows, planters, ridgers while donkeys and camels are used for transportation of farm produce. Oxen and bullocks (drought animals) are yoked while man controls the direction of the implement for soil tillage.

Qualities of Drought Animal
• Good body size or deep barrel
• Strong hind limbs and sloping rump
• Strong hooves and good stride
• Should be male or castrated
• Must be docile
• Should be healthy
• Must be energetic and powerful


Farm Operations that require Animal Power
• Drawing ploughs, harrows and ridgers and planters.
• Carrying People
• Transportation of loads e.g fertilizers, farm produce, chemicals.
Factors affecting efficiency of Drought Animals
• Health of animal and diseases
• Food intake
• Breed and Genetic Make-up
• Poor management of animal
• Age of the animal
• weight of the animal
• Sex of the animal
• Climatic and environmental factors
• Training of the animal


Advantages of Animal power
1. They can work for longer period of time than humans
2. They are more efficient than humans
3. Animal wastes acts as fertilizer to the soil
4. No technical knowledge to use animals
5. Animals provide source of meat after exceeding useful life span
6. They are easier to maintain when compared to machines
7. Animals carry heavier loads than farmers or humans
8. They give higher output when compared to humans


Disadvantages of Animal Power
1. Animals are prone to diseases
2. Animals can sometimes be difficult to control or show aggression
3. They are not as efficient as machines
4. Animals suffer fatigue like humans
5. Animals die
6. A level of training is needed to handle animals
7. They require continuous supervision and attention
8. They can destroy or eat up crops


Mechanical Power
This is the use of machineries to optimize farm operations. Example of machineries are – harvesters, ploughs, harrows, planters, ridgers, tractors, food processors, grinders etc. They facilitate the cultivation of a large hectare of land and are useful for commercial purposes.


Advantages of Mechanical Power
1. It can cover more land area per unit time
2. Not prone to diseases
3. Higher efficiency, works faster
4. Reduces labour cost and overall cost of production
5. Makes farm operations timely
6. Makes farm work less tedious
7. Can perform a wider range of farm operations


Disadvantages of Mechanical Power
1. High cost of maintenance
2. Displacement of Labour (unemployment of able bodied persons)
3. Capital intensive
4. Causes pollution e.g air pollution through the release of toxic waste
5. Requires technical skills for operation
6. Not easily available
7. Can not be used by small scale farmers
8. Can destroy soil structure


Electrical Power
This type of power is derived from electricity or generator. Electricity is needed for many purposes on the farm land. It is very efficient, reliable but expensive.


Farm Operations that require electrical power
• Refrigeration
• Incubation
• Shelling of fruits and seeds
• Brooding of chicks
• Egg grading
• candling
• Milking Machines
• Debeaking.


Most farm operations require electrical power


Advantages of Electrical Power
1. Cannot contaminate products thus makes them safe for human consumption
2. Cheap source of power
3. Aids operations and increases productivity
4. Very dependable and neat
5. Easy to operate
6. Efficient and saves labour
7. Very versatile
Disadvantages of Electrical Power
1. Irregular Supply
2. Dangerous or fatal if handled carelessly
3. Very expensive
4. Can cause fire hazards
5. Must be strictly regulated or controlled
6. Cannot be used for field o