Enhancing yield with
By Muhammad Younis
A MAJORITY of farmers still use the conventional crop
production technology which result not only in low crop
yields but also requires heavy inputs like fuel, labour,
The situation requires farmers and agricultural experts to
jointly overcome this problem. In future, only those farming
methods and practices would sustain which would conserve
resources and give higher cost benefit ratio to their users.
The challenges cannot be faced without replacing energy
consumptive and inefficient farming operations.
Various studies demonstrate that the soil tillage is one of
the most expensive operations in the budget of a farmer. A
farmer who wastes his resources by performing uneconomical
tillage operations cannot compete in the market.
Evidences also show that many crops can be economically
raised with minimum till planting systems without any yield
loss provided planting could be accomplished in time and
micro-environment is conducive to seed germination and
Keeping in view the need of the farming community, a
technically suitable and economically feasible tractor
drawn, power-take-off (PTO) driven tiller-cum-seed drill has
been designed and developed in the Department of Farm
Machinery and Power, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
and tested in paddy vacated fields.
The machine can be operated in previously untilled fields
and can drill the crop seeds in one pass operation, thus
saving the farmers from drudgery of more operations and
minimizing input costs. The newly designed machine is
different from zero tillage drill.
The experiments conducted in the untilled paddy fields for
planting wheat at different locations showed that with this
machine the crop could be planted successfully in nine-inch
rows by powered disks revolving at 172 revolutions per
minute. The disks are mounted on a shaft ahead of the furrow
The design of the machine is very simple. It is essentially
a seven-row seed-cum fertilizer drill with a rotary disk
attachment for optimum soil manipulation, running ahead of
the furrow openers. The designed machine can be operated
with a tractor of at least 50 horse power. In this machine,
seven furrow openers are mounted on a mild steel shaft.
Reversible shovel type furrow openers are used to open
furrows in tilled soil. The spacing between two successive
furrow openers may be varied according to the crop being
The machine consists of a zone tillage unit and a seed
drilling unit. It can place seeds and fertilizer in the soil
simultaneously. The seed and fertilizer boxes are simple
fabricated items manufactured by structural steel sheet. The
seed and fertilizer boxes are covered at the top to prevent
seepage of rainwater into the boxes.
Fluted wheel metering devices moulded from high-density
plastic, have been incorporated because of their capability
for handling seed and granular fertilizer. Locally available
transparent plastic tubes are used to drop seed and
fertilizer from their respective boxes. The developed
machine is one of its own kinds in the country.
With a little modification, this machine can be used for
planting a number of other crops like maize, gram, barley,
cotton, and some pulses. Moreover, an extra shaft can be
fitted to use the machine as a rotavator, a commonly used
tillage implement. Thus, the machine can be used throughout
The machine can sow an area of about 18 acres per day. By
using this technology, the savings in diesel fuel, labour,
and irrigation water were 75, 50 and 30 per cent
respectively as compared to conventional method. Moreover,
14-15 per cent increase in crop yield was also recorded by
using the developed machine.
( The writer is a lecturer at the
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad)
Source: The DAWN