How are diesel engines powering farm innovations?

In order to understand the importance of a diesel engine for agriculture applications, it’s essential to first get an idea of this diverse sector. Agriculture contributes to 4% of global gross domestic products. As far as developing countries are considered, it can be up to 25% of GDP.  This is a reason why agricultural development is considered an important tool to alleviate extreme poverty. It can also play a significant role in boosting shared productivity.  To feed a population of 9.7 billion people by the year 2050, the pressure on agriculture will be tremendous. Thus, there is a need for the agriculture sector to innovate, evolve and adapt to dynamic needs that are changing at a rapid pace. (Source-https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/agriculture/overview#1)

Farm mechanization has played a crucial role in catering to the needs of this sector and most of these operations are driven by a diesel engine for agriculture applications. Tractors, combined harvesters & transportation vehicles – a wide variety of these farm equipment are powered by a diesel engine. So, what is the connection between diesel engines and agriculture?

Origins of Diesel Engine in Farm Operations

Be it ploughing, sowing, weeding, harvesting, threshing or transporting the harvested agriculture produce – tractors are traditionally being used to reduce the dependence on manual labour work. For the first time – a diesel engine was used for tractors in the year 1922, however, gasoline-powered tractors were prevalent in the late 19th century. Saunderson in Britain, Fordson in USA; were some of the largest tractor manufacturers who popularized the use of a diesel engine for farming.(Source-https://dieselnet.com/tech/diesel_history.php)

With the changing times and healthy competition – this sector witnessed a rapid transition.  As the development of special-purpose machinery such as threshers, tillers, harvesters started – there was a need for a highly cost-effective fuel – that can keep a check on input prices. Thus, diesel emerged as a winner in this race.

Developing a clean diesel engine for farming

While cost remains an important aspect in farm production – a holistic approach that considers the effects of carbon emission on the environment is equally important. In the last two decades, the focus mainly relied on bringing down carbon emissions. Emission laws set by India, United States & European Union are considered very very progressive. Agricultural engines complying with these norms can significantly bring down greenhouse gas emissions. Considering the size of agriculture as a sector and the number of machineries that are running on diesel – a cleaner engine becomes an absolute necessity to control global warming.

Diesel Engines Powering Different Operations in Orchards

Behind every multi-purpose tractor lies a well-built diesel engine for agriculture. However, these tractors perform a variety of operations. These uses are a result of the developments in this sector in the last decade. Some of these innovative uses for orchards can be enlisted as follows:

1. Air Blast Sprayers

Air blast sprayers are highly efficient in spraying insecticides/pesticides or even the liquid nutrients on the orchard plants. Significantly bringing down the cost and time required for the spraying operations – these sprayers have now made it possible to rapidly complete large amounts of pesticides & fertilizers spraying. These machines have played a crucial role in improving farm efficiency especially in orchards.

2. Backhoe Loaders & Dozers

Orchards often require digging holes for plantations or integrating irrigation pipeline facilities etc. Digging holes, moving soil from one place to another and many other related operations can be handled seamlessly and very effectively with backhoe loaders. Dozers on the other hand bring in a capacity to move heavy loads such as hay, cattle feed etc, spreading the soil dumped through the trucks, rough grading, removing trees etc.

3. Flex-Wing Rotary Cutters

Weeds growing in the vacant space between orchard trees is one of the major problems that orchard farmers face. These weeds not only suck the nutrition of the orchard plants but also make it difficult for plants to grow. Flexwing rotary cutters specially designed for this purpose – can seamlessly eliminate these weeds from the bottom. A well-balanced flex-wing rotary cutter can be powered using a specialized tractor diesel engine for agriculture.

4. Orchard Pruning Machines

Pruning is one of the most important and essential orchard operations. These machines are equipped with vertical rotary blades, whereas the hydraulic telescopic adjustment towers allow height adjustments. These pruning machines can be mounted on orchard tractors and can operate with the available engine power output bringing in a reliable pruning experience for orchard farmers.

5. Trolleys

Every tractor – whether it is an orchard tractor or a full-sized utility tractor, is often coupled with trolleys and used for the purpose of transportation of agricultural goods. This is done with the help of trolleys that can hold different amounts of load. Be it moving farm inputs such as fertilizers, plant medicines, cattle feed etc. from the store to the farms or transporting Agri-produce from farm or warehouse to the market – tractors are a vehicle of preferred choice in the most developing countries.

Mitsubishi diesel engines for tractors –

L & SL series engines specially designed for tractors by MHIET, Japan produced by Mitsubishi VST Diesel engines have left their mark with consistent performance and reliability. Along with the conventional farm operations, these tractor engines have successfully demonstrated their ability to power various innovative farm operations. Designed to perform under different weather conditions – these engines can withstand long hours of operations while consistently delivering the expected power output.

Way forward

A tractor may appear as a simple farm machine – however it is the soul that drives the most complex farm operations. Mitsubishi diesel engines for tractors not only power these multipurpose farm machines, but also embrace the environmentally sustainable practices. Every engine is manufactured while following Environmental management Principles and complies with the Indian, US & EU emission norms.

While the agriculture ecosystem is evolving at a rapid pace, the L & SL series engines are catering to the dynamic operational needs of the sector. Ensuring global food security, bringing down the carbon emissions, developing cleaner fuels & machines and keeping the costs in check are some of the most crucial challenges related to this sector. The group efforts & synergies are channelized in contributing their bit to find solutions for the same.  

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