Prof.(Dr.) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), briefed about the tractor operated spading machine and its application in seed bed preparation. First activity in any crop cultivation practice is the tilling of soil to make a desirable seed bed for germination of seeds or seedlings. Prof. Hirani, explained that a major part of tractor energy is utilised in seed bed operation leading to high operating cost for farmers. The spading machine developed at CMERI reduces the cost of tillage operation and improves its effectiveness. The design of CSIR-CMERI spading mechanism is advantageous in reducing vibration and enhancing the comfort of tractor operators.
Jagdish Manikrao, senior scientist, who worked on the development of this technology, under the guidance of Prof. Harish Hirani, explained the working and other technicalities of the machine. He said that as compared to other tillage implements, the machine forms no compaction of subsurface soil and improves the aerobic quality and drainage of soil. The machine can also incorporate large organic material due to its homogeneous working and uniform turning of soil. The spading machine is powered by tractor PTO which rotates at a standard speed of 540 rpm, power is transmitted to the crank through the speed reduction gear. This machine has a working width of 1800 mm and it can be operated with any tractor having power greater than 45 HP.
Dr Pradeep Rajan, Sr. Principal Scientist, Head, Farm Machinery and Precision Agriculture, CSRI-CMERI further elaborated that the main advantage is less compaction in subsurface soil layers thereby eliminating the need for sub-soiling. This is due to the fact that soil breakup during spading is similar to manual hoeing as it imitates the manual soil cutting action.
Prof.Hirani dedicated the newly developed agricultural technology to the nation and urged the MSMEs, who were having manufacturing facilities for tillage equipment like MB plough and rotavators along with start-ups to take the technology to the Indian small and marginal farmers for maximum utilisation.