Definition & Types of Farm Structures
- Meaning of Farm Structure
- Types of Farm Structures and their Uses
- Storage Structures
- Production Structures
- Processing Structures
What is Farm Structure?
A farm structure is an erection built on the farm site to make certain farm operations easier.
A small-scale farmer will usually construct simple structures, using materials available on the farm, while a large-scale farmer will construct more complex farm structures.
In Nigeria, there are many types of farm structures on a farmstead.
Types of Farm Structures and their Uses:
Farm structures are classified into three based on their uses:
a. Storage Structures: This includes: a silo, maize crib, barn, grain bin, rhombus, fence, compost pit and waste pit.
b. Production Structures: This includes: a paddock, fish pond, rabbit hutch, Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprays. It helps grow crops, landscape plants, and lawns. Irrigation is usually used in... More and drainage structures, and animal dip.
c. Processing Structures: This includes: a feed mill and abattoir.
Let’s discuss some of the different types of farm structures;
a. Storage Structures:
Agricultural produce is stored in storage structures, until they are sold, consumed or used, for the next season’s farming operations. They include Silos, Cribs, Rhombus, Storage Barns, Silage Pits, Compost Pits, Water Reservoirs, Fences, etc.
Silos are tall circular or rectangular farm structures, that are made of concrete and stainless steel, where agricultural products such as maize, beans, rice, wheat, etc, are stored.
Silos can store up to 50 -100 tonnes of grain for a long period of time. They are made of galvanised metal or concrete and are usually expensive to construct.
2. Maize Cribs:
Maize cribs are mainly used to store grains like maize cobs. It is made up of wooden materials, a wire mesh of 1cm, and corrugated iron sheets. However, it can be covered with woven grasses if corrugated iron sheets are not available, or are expensive for the farmer to buy.
The mesh keeps away rats and other rodents, while an insecticide like Actellis is sprayed to prevent insect attacks.
Maize crib is rectangular in shape, the length and breadth depend on the quality of maize to be stored.
Today, a typical corn crib on many farms is a cylindrical cage of galvanized wire fencing covered by a metal roof
The Crib is designed in such a shape that the drying process continues during storage because of the free flow of air over the stored produce due to natural ventilation. This process also helps prevent the growth of harmful Microbes are organisms that are too small to be seen without using a microscope. They include organisms like bacteria, archaea, and single-cell eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have a nucleus e.g. amoeba... More.
One of the agricultural produce that can be stored in a barn is yam. There are different types of barns on a farm. They vary greatly depending on their purpose and size.
Yam barns are very popular in West Africa. The type used in West Africa is a temporary structure constructed cheaply with sticks, mud and thatch.
Yam tubers are usually tied up in the barn using a framework of horizontal and vertical sticks.
Grasses and hay can also be stored in a barn.
4. Grain Bins:
These containers are smaller than the silos. The containers are movable and can be transported from one point on the farm to another.
Grain bins generally store dry corn and soybeans.
This storage structure has an earthen container in which grains such as maize, sorghum, millet, etc., are kept. The earthen container is on a raised mud platform and is covered with tightly woven grasses. This is meant to keep insects and rodents away from the grains.
Fences are used to confine grazing farm animals, protect crops and animals from thieves and dangerous animals, and prevent animals from destroying the crops. They are mostly made from bamboo, wire and planks, concrete, maize and sorghum stalks.
7. Compost Pits:
This is a pit dug in the farm to make manure for crops. Waste animal and plant materials are trotted down in the compost until they form manure.
8. Waste Pits:
This is a large pit dug on the outskirts of a farm for dumping waste.
b. Production Structures:
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