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7 Fuel-Dependant Farming Activities

Farming is considered as the most important activity done by humans. So much so, that it is responsible for feeding the whole world. However, the farming activities have been developed through the ages with the blessing of science and technology. Read ON! 

Most of the farming activities were time-consuming and laborious. Crop fields spanning acres become a real task if there are no machines and vehicles involved even for basic plowing activities. Simple procedures like harvesting used to take days to complete before inventions like the combine harvester.
Now, most of these vehicles and machines run on diesel and petrol. Electric vehicles and solar energy powered equipment has proved to be quite uneconomical for the farmers as the technology is still developing. Their costs compared to diesel-powered vehicles and machinery are very high. Suggestions for adopting any other source of energy apart from fuels is never going to be affordable for farmers. These fuels have become an irreplaceable part of many farms all over the world. So let’s have a look at 7 major fuel-dependant farming activities.

Fuel Dependent Farming Activities

Irrigation



Farms are huge pieces of land with crops covering every square meter of the area to maximize the produce and profit for the farmers. They had to develop the most cost-effective and efficient way to irrigate their crops. Having people manually water such a big area is out of the question. Out of all the different ways to irrigate, including drip irrigation, using a pump to supply water to the crops is the only viable option. By using a pump a farmer can be sure that every inch of his field is getting water. The pumps are of 2 types, electric and diesel motor pumps. In most farms that are far away from civilization, diesel-based pumps are common as it is simply not possible to provide electricity to them due to the distance. Over the years technology has made these diesel pumps more and more efficient. They now provide more energy and use less diesel than before.

Tilling



Before you actually put the seed in the soil, the soil needs to be tilled and aerated for the plant to be able to easily extract nutrients out of it. Tilling is done using tractors and cultivators, both of which have a diesel engine at their core. Tractors can have a harrow or a plow attached to them for tilling the soil. A cultivator is a much more complex machine. It tills the soil before seeding and also after seeding when the plant has grown substantially. It has some cutting-edge technology that enables it to till the soil gently and in a specific pattern around the crop without causing damage to it.

Seeding



Seeding is the process of burying the crop seeds in the soil. It is an important farming activity that used to be done manually until the invention of a seed drill. The seed drill also mostly uses diesel to work. It completely revolutionized seeding. A seed drill actually drills holes in the soil with precise depth and buries the seed inside carefully. The holes are made at equal distances to avoid any cluster of crops which reduces the quality of the produce. A seed drill uses a substantial amount of fuel as it travels around the whole field with impressive speed.

Fuel Dependent Farming Activities

Harvesting



Harvesting is no longer done by hand. Manual labor is very expensive now and it also takes a lot of time for a group of people to pluck or cut every single crop from the field. A combine harvester does that job in less than half the time. However, as explained by the experts at Ablesales.com.au, combines use so much diesel that they have to carry extra fuel in a fuel tank. They combine 3 essential activities of harvesting that is reaping, threshing and winnowing. Any machine that covers miles of land and does so much in one go will always use a lot of energy.

Weed Removal



Weed removal is handled perfectly by a machine called a cultivator. Most cultivators are fuel-efficient but some old ones burn a lot of it. The cultivator uses the energy of combustion to remove weed from the soil with a lot of precision. There could be weed growing right next to a crop and the cultivator will be able to remove the weed without damaging the crop. Such advanced functions and accuracy require a substantial amount of energy which is provided by fuel.

Transport



A lot of things involved in farming are required to be transported from one place to another for various reasons. These reasons include taking the produce to the market and dumping the waste product in a dumping ground which is usually in a far off location. Since the quantities of the crop yield are always a lot, big trucks and tractors with large trolleys are mostly preferred for the job. Again, the trucks and tractors mostly run on fuel. They may not have a very good economy of fuel consumption but they do most of the work on a single trip. Any smaller vehicle would require multiple trips to get the same amount of work done and would thus be much more uneconomical.

Generators



Generators are quite essential on a farm and the most commonly found are the diesel generators. Since the farms are based in far off locations, power cuts are quite normal. A lot of farm activities require electricity. It becomes hard for the farmer to keep things running. This is the time when a diesel generator comes in to provide electricity to the farm and resume the ongoing work. Farming is one of the most essential human activities. Farming gives us food. We can remove the use of fossil fuels from other activities that are not so essential but should not place hurdles in important activities like farming. At least till the time thighs like solar energy and battery-operated vehicles don’t become affordable, we can not expect fuel to be replaced in farming and its vital activities.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 21st June 2020.

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