By Liz Tomas

Farms require many different pieces of equipment to run properly. The equipment is used for planting, irrigation, building and more. There are various types of each machine, designed for different farming scales and environments. Most of these pieces of equipment were designed during the Industrial Revolution, when many advancements in farming occurred. Farming tasks changed from manual to machine.

Agricultural landscape
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Farm fields

Seeders

Farmer riding tractor through field, Canada
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Farmer pulling seeder

There are several different types of seeders used to spread seeds into the ground. The types of seeders used will depend on the type of soil, type of plant and land area. Disc seeders are used on clay and clay loam soils. These are known as once-over seeders; they place the seed in the ground very fast, and only one pass on the field is needed. Double-disc seeders are used when the seed needs to be placed very accurately into the soil. It is not suitable for hard soils, as tillage is needed before using the double-disc seeder. A double-disc press drill is like a double-disc drill with the addition of press wheels. The press wheel will pack the soil over the seed once it has been placed in the ground. Cultivator seeders are also known as air seeders and use a stream of air to place the seed onto the field.

Threshers

Canola harvesting
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Threshers on farm

There are several different types of threshers as these machines are classified based on how the crop is fed through the machine. A feeding type in which only a part of the crop is fed into the machine allows for the straw to remain intact but has a low throughput. A crop flow thresher moves the crop through the thresher, where it is separated from the straw by being crushed between a drum and outer casing. Threshing elements, or the drum in the center of the thresher, can have rasp bars, peg teeth or wire loops attached.

Irrigation

Irrigation sprinkler system
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Irrigation on farm

There are several different machines that can be used for irrigation on the farm. Sprayers, pumps and tubing are used. Irrigation water will require pumps to transfer the water through the system to the desired field. There are several types of sprinkler systems to provide water for irrigation. These sprinklers can be fixed in place or portable, normally towers on wheels that carry the sprinkler system to different fields. Watering cans can even be used for smaller farm land where manual irrigation is used.

Tractors

Tractor in field
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Tractor on farm

Tractors are used for towing, drawing and pulling heavy objects and other pieces of farm machinery, such as tillers. There are many different types of tractors, as specific tractors were designed for specific jobs. The compact utility tractor is used for land management and landscaping. The backhoe loader has many uses, though it has a loader assembly on the front and a backhoe on the back. This tractor can be used for loading trucks, construction, digging and tasks that require very precise control. Garden tractors are small types of agricultural tractors that are used to cut grass or for tilling, fertilizing and other tasks.