Animal-Drawn Conservation-Tillage Planter Designed for Small Farms in the Developing World Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. A prototype conservation-tillage planter capable of being towed by a team of animals was designed to be manufacturable with basic machine shop equipment and skills so that it could be constructed and maintained in small African towns. It was also designed to be easily used by women and older children. The prototype was constructed, refined, and tested. Measurements included draft, seed depth, and seed spacing, and observations included performance of residue managers in moving straw from the row and press wheels in covering the seed with soil. The average draft for the prototype was 796 N (179 lbf), low enough to be pulled for 8 h by two draft animals weighing 816 kg (1800 lbf) total. The desired seed placement depth of 2 cm for cowpeas was achieved within 25% of the target for most trials, and the target seed spacing of 10 cm was achieved within 50%. The residue managers and the press wheels for both performed their intended functions reasonably well. The planter was easy to lift at the tongue with one hand and easily operated on the side from which animals are typically driven. This planter could meet the planting and conservation needs of many small farm holders who have access to animal power but not to machine power.

published proceedings

  • Applied Engineering in Agriculture

author list (cited authors)

  • Bagnall, G. C., Thomasson, J. A., & Ge, Y.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016 11:11 AM