Tractor and Field Operations is part of a series of Efficiency Checklists and Topics that can help you to assess all areas of your farming operation for energy efficiency and find ideas to save energy and reduce costs. For links to other articles in the Efficiency Checklists and Topics series, see Additional Resources at the end of this article.
Tractor and Field Operations
Field operations are one of the largest uses of energy on most farms, so it is helpful to examine reducing or eliminating operations for reductions in energy use. Conservation tillage systems conserve fuel by cutting down on the number of passes across fields. No-till or reduced-till systems allow farmers to prepare the seedbed, apply fertilizer, and plant the crop in one operation.
No-till drills or air seeders use approximately 0.7 gallons per acre. A common conventional tillage system for crop production includes a chisel plow operation using 0.6 gallons per acre, a field cultivator using 0.3 gallons per acre, and a drill using 0.5 gallons per acre for a total of 1.4 gallons per acre. In this example, conservation tillage requires half the fuel of the conventional tillage system.
Questions to Ask:
Facts and Actions: Tractor Operation