A Computer Model to Select Optimum Size of Farm Power and Machinery for Paddy-Wheat Crop Rotation in Northern India

R. C. Dash


Selection of proper size of farm power and machinery is the most important component of any farm enterprise. Among the various inputs to the crop production system, power and machinery jointly represent the largest single item of expenditure constituting about 60% of the total investment on a farm. The decision on optimum size of machinery is quite critical not only because of the high proportion of total cost attributed to machinery but also due to the infrequency and irrevocability of such decisions. Computer based least cost models were developed in C programming language for the selection of optimum size power and machinery system for paddy-wheat cropping system with the input like area under the crop, soil type, number of operations for each crop, crop rotation and time available for each operation etc. The model selected the optimum tractor size from amongst the available sizes and its matching implements keeping in view the capacity of machinery to complete the operation in scheduled time for the given farm. The model also computes the working hours and energy requirement for different field operations along with various cost components. The model output was found to be sensitive to various input parameters like farm size, tillage intensity and crop rotation. Chi-square test revealed that there was no significant difference between the actual size of farm power owned by the farmers of the study area and the prediction of the model. Thus, the model predictions are good for paddy-wheat crop rotation of the study area and can be used successfully for selection of optimal power and machinery.

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