Mechanical feeding systems are becoming increasingly important in livestock farming. For a long time farmers have enjoyed the use of low-cost power and machinery in crop production, but until very recent years feeding has been an unmechanized and inefficient operation. The present availability and convenience of electric power at low cost FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS makes it possible for every farm to eliminate shovel and basket feeding in favor of electrical and mechanical feeding systems. Such developments not only increase the individual farmer's output per man/hour, but change his role of a manual labourer.
A mechanical feeding system uses the energy of FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS a machine to do work that was formerly done by human muscle power. An automatic feeding system supplies controls to machines so that they may function by themselves. A mechanical feeding system, to be ideal, should indeed be completely automatic, that is, it should be set FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS up so as to enable feed and supplements to move from storages to the feed bunk without any manual attention from the livestock operator. Such an ideal system — where grinders, blenders, conveyors, and distributors are perfectly coordinated so that no manual attention is necessary — is sometimes unattainable, but should always be FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS considered the goal when planning mechanical systems.
A vast number of experimental agricultural stations are now at work in the Soviet Union developing the best varieties of seeds. The experience of former seedbreeders is vastly used, while existing grades are crossed to obtain the best results FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS and the obtained varieties controlled to eliminate off-grade material.
Michurin said that by means of breeding new varieties it is possible to increase yields almost indefinitely. The main requirements as regards variety are: high yield, resistance to winter-killing (frost resistance), resistance to fungi and insect pests, good FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS milling and baking properties.
Artificial selection aims at the selection of the best individual for further breeding. This is determined by a) appearance, b) chemical and other analysis, c) the record of ancestry (pedigree), d) the record of the progeny.
Hybridization has helped to FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS develop many new varieties of plants. Hybrids may be crossed by means of pollination with parent stock or with sister and brother stock or else crossing may be reciprocal.
Vernalization- consists in the seasoning of selected seed-stock under low temperatures, whereby better viability is secured.
Mechanization has to FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS be considered in detail separately, but as to electrification we shall consider in short its major applications.
'The first application of electricity to agriculture is electrical prime movers. Not unfrequent are at present the instances when from one to two hundred electric motors operate on a FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS collective or state farm. Electric motors as a matter of fact take care of all stationary work. They operate irrigation, pumps, threshing and fanning as well as grain-drying units along with other installations connected with field husbandry. Electrical machines supply water to the cowhouse and when necessary heat FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS it, cut ensilage, actuate milking machines, prepare provender in the feed-processing building, feed it to the cattle, remove barnyard manure.
Electric incubators hatch chicks and ducklets, while eggs arc electrically gathered, graded and packed "on the line".
Sheep are nowadays being sheared electrically; this is by far quicker FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS and more efficient than the old hand-method while the clip is greater and of higher quality.
The electric drive actuates various machines in farm-workshops; it is indispensable with saw-frames; it replaces the energy of the wind or falling water at mills. Electricity is likewise operative FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS in warming hotbeds and thus contributes to the forcing of vegetables.
Of late electricity has found a new sphere of application as the source of ultraviolet and infrared rays which contribute to good metabolism and generally to the growth and healthy development of young domestic animals. Ultraviolet FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS irradiation units are effective in preventing and curing rachitis. Ultraviolet units with bactericide lamps help to clean contaminated air in cowhouses and other premises and we can see them again at work sterilizing vessel and water. On the fields — in seed-bed preparation and harvesting — electricity is so FEEDING SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK FARMS far being used to a comparatively small extent, but the day is near when electric ploughing and other field-work will become routine practice.