Thursday, September 29, 2016

SOURCES OF FARM POWER

The various means and methods through which activities on the farm are carried out involve the use of various sources of power. 

The sources of power include the following:
1.   Human power
2.   Animal power
3.   Solar power
4.   Mechanical power
5.   Electrical power
6.   Water power
7.   Wind power
8.   Bio gas
1.   Human Power: Various activities on the farm such as land clearing, ploughing, planting, weeding, harvesting, processing etc. can be carried out by man. Man has the highest form of intelligence and he controls all other forms of farm power on the farm.
ADVANTAGES OF HUMAN POWER
1.   Human power is required in all farm operations
2.   Human power is easy to control and readily available
3.   Human power is used with traditional tools or modern implement
DISADVANTAGES
1.   Work output is low
2.   Level of work done is directly proportional to food intake
3.   Weather/climate affects the amount of work done 
2.   Animal Power:  is the power that is supplied by farm animals to carry out activities on the farm such as ploughing, harrowing, ridging, transportation e.t.c.
DISADVANTAGES
1.   Work output is higher than that of man
2.   The initial cost is very cheap
3.   It is not subjected to fuel scarcity
4.   While working, animal dung can serve as manure
DISADVANTAGES 
1.   It is not suitable for processing agricultural products because they can eat them up
2.   There is a limit to the area of land that can be cultivated
3.   They pose danger to the crops on the farm
4.   It is not suitable for large scale production 
FARM OPERATIONS WHICH REQUIRE ANIMAL POWER
1.   For carrying people from one part of the farm to another
2.   For drawing plough
3.   For transportation of loads  
3.    Mechanical Power: Is a form of power that is transmitted through engines. Introduction of mechanical power has considerably increased farm output, they can be used in soil preparation, processing and harvesting of crops.
         
ADVANTAGES
1.   Mechanical power can perform more activities than any other form of farm power
2.   It can be used under any kind of condition
3.   There is no fatigue
4.   It saves time
5.   It is versatile and can operate implements for different operations
6.   It is not subject to any form of attack unlike animal and man 
DISADVANTAGES
1.   Mechanical power is expensive
2.   It is not suitable for subsistence farming
3.   Crop losses during mechanical operation are usually high
4.   The use of machines destroy soil structure
5.   It requires experts to operate
4.         Solar Power: This is the power derived from sunlight to carry out farm operations. Energy from the sun is tapped by plants to manufacture food, besides this solar radiation can be converted into solar energy to brood chicken,  incubate hen,  power machines,  generate electricity e.t.c
ADVANTAGES
1.   Cost of production is low and its tools are easily available
2.   It can be used to generate electricity
3.   It is free
4.   It is a neat source of energy

DISADVANTAGES
1.   Its provision cannot be controlled
2.   Its technology is very high
3.   Excess of it can cause transpiration and evaporation
5.  Electrical Power: This is the power derived from electricity. It is the commonest source of power on the farm in many countries and it complements other sources of farm power.
 ADVANTAGES
1.   It is very efficient and reliable in advanced countries.
2.   It is a cheap sources of power supply
3.   It can be converted from one form of energy to anther
4.   It can be generated from different sources
DISADVANTAGES
1.   If it is not properly handled, it can causes problem
2.   Maintenance could be very high
3.   Its supply is irregular especially in a country like Nigeria
4.   It cannot be used to carry out some operations on the farm
6.      Water Power: This is the power derived from water, running water in streams are used for different purposes on the farm when connected with appropriate equipments either for pumping irrigation water or for generating electricity. 

ADVANTAGES
1.   Water power does not pollute the environment
2.   It can be easily and directly connected to mechanical power/electrical power 
DISADVANTAGES
1.   It cannot be used for field activities
2.   Availability of water depends on season
3.   It does not supply power directly
4.   It could be destructive if carelessly handled 
7.       Wind Power: The kinetic energy from the wind can be converted into energy of the rotating shaft which can be used to power feed grinder or to operate water pump. The energy change is possible with the help of the windmill
ADVANTAGES
1.   It is available everywhere
2.   It is used in winnowing
3.   It is essential for drying of farm products
4.   The force of the wind can be converted into electricity through windmill
5.   It is useful for pollination
DISADVANTAGES
It is very expensive to construct  windmill
It is also erratic in supply
It cannot be stored for further use
It is difficult to control
It cannot be used in all farm operations
8.      Bio gas:  Organic matter derived from plants and animals ruminants can be used as source of power on the farm. This is made possible when they are kept in a closed container to decompose. From the products of decomposition gases are released and these can be used to produce heat energy.
 ADVANTAGES
1.   It is cheap
2.   The materials are readily available
3.   The method is not relatively harmful
ADVANTAGES
1.   It may take a longer time before decomposition takes place
2.   If not properly handled it may lead to environment pollution in an area
3.   It can constitute health hazard of not well managed

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