Mulcher is one of the most important agricultural equipment's that promotes sustainable farming and development. It is run in fields by attaching to a tractor. The main purpose of this implement is cutting of small plants, weeds, paddy, bushes and removal crop residues from the fields after a successful harvest. The machine does not burn the cut parts of the plants, but on the contrary, spreads them evenly on the same field after finely chopping the residual pieces. This greatly helps in increasing the organic matter content of the soil and thus enhances soil fertility. The machine is gaining wide popularity among the Indian farmers in the present days since it reduces the time and labor required for clearing the fields and promotes sustainable farming as well.
Mulcher is a machine that is mainly used for cutting crop residues and provides mulching to those fields with the residues. It can cut various rows of harvested plants in one go and further modifications can be made according to the need of the farmers. Tractor driven mulchers perform in the following way when they are driven through crop residues –
1. Firstly, the mulcher cuts the crop residues, grasses, weeds and bushes whatever lay on the path of the mulcher.
2. Then, within the machine, the cut residual parts are chopped and shredded into very fine pieces.
3. Lastly, the fine textured residue composed entirely of organic matters is laid evenly on the field from the posterior side of the mulcher as the tractor moves forward.
Components of a mulcher –
A mulcher is a very simple machine and is composed of some very basic materials like –
- · A metal frame
- · 8 to 10 rows of blades for primary cutting of the crop residues
- · Additional blades and shredders for chopping up the residues
- · Roller for spreading out the chopped residues evenly on the field
- · A hook for connecting to the tractor
Advantages of mulcher –
In the modern era of agriculture, technology and new agricultural implements are part and parcel of the farming process. The various functions of the mulcher machine include -
1. Reduces the time required for the cumbersome process of clearing out the fields after a successful cultivation.
2. The huge wastage of manual labor in the process of clearing the fields is eliminated.
3. Mulcher provides a sustainable solution to the alarming problem of agricultural waste management.
4. Air pollution is greatly reduced since there is no more need to burn the crop residues (stubble burning).
5. Along with the process of clearing fields, mulcher also provides organic mulching to the soil composed entirely of organic components. This provides all the benefits of a traditional mulching which requires additional cost and labor.
6. The simultaneous cutting and mulching process increases the organic matter content of the soil which in turn improves soil fertility and maintains the soil structure as well.
Timeline of Invention –
Mulcher was first invented in Japan in the year 1979 and in both United States of America and Great Britain in the year of 1980. Since then, innumerable modifications have been made to the machine adapting to the changing course of agriculture as time passed.
In India, only in the recent days after 2010, is the machine gaining some popularity.
Some important brands, features and price –
Nowadays, there are a number of companies that are manufacturing and selling the equipment in India. Some of the most notable ones include –
1. Mahindra & Mahindra
Weight – 608 kg
Power required – 55-90 Horsepower
Price – INR 2,75,000
2. Powerful Rotary Mulcher
Weight – 523 kg
Power required – 45-80 Horsepower
Price – INR 1,47,000
Stated input Rotations per minute – 540
Transmission – 4 in number BX 54 belts
3. Straw Mulcher (Khalsa Brand)
Weight – 550 kg
Power required – 55-90 horsepower
Price – INR 1,46,000
However, subsidies are available on buying of mulchers or any other agricultural machineries from both the central government as well as the respective governments of the states and union territories. Local agricultural centers should be contacted first before buying any heavy agricultural equipment.
Useful website links for buying –