Study, Learn, Discover Ways to Use Modern Engineering to Make Work Easier
....and do jobs faster and better
This course will help the student develop the understanding and skills required to apply appropriate and innovative engineering solutions, and to improve efficiency and productivity in agricultural and horticultural situations.
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Water management
- Environmental control
- Chemical applications
- Engineering efficiency
- Developing engineering solutions
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Explain surveying, including basic principles and techniques, appropriate for horticulture and agriculture
- Determine earthworks required for an agricultural or horticultural site
- Determine appropriate water management for an horticultural/agricultural site.
- Determine technological solutions for environmental control problems, in rural or horticultural situations.
- Explain the operation of equipment commonly used to apply pesticides and other chemicals in both horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
- Determine appropriate fencing to use for different purposes; including security and restricting the movement of animals, pests or traffic, in agricultural and horticultural situations.
- Explain the operation of machinery commonly used to mechanise manual tasks carried out in horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of engineering applications in agricultural and horticultural workplaces.
- Determine procedures for improving work tasks in agricultural and horticultural situations.
Finding Better Ways to Work
Engineering is changing our world.
Whether you like it or not, modern engineered technologies are changing the way work is being done, all around the world. Whether it is construction equipment, computer systems or robotics, jobs for real people are shrinking, as engineering solutions are found to enable one machine to carry out the work of many people.
Engineering solutions allow us to do more with less resources; and most importantly, at lower costs. This is in one respect increasing wealth for those using technology, but at the same time, displacing others from jobs they have held for a long time.
Whether you work in agriculture, horticulture, construction, manufacturing, trade, or anywhere else, an understanding of engineering derived from this course can help you to see possibilities in the workplace which previously may have escaped your attention.
Applications to Land Management.
This course is particularly relevant to industries that apply engineering to managing the land - from agriculture and horticulture to construction and conservation.
Managing the land often involves digging, shaping and moving soil; and any work of that nature must start with a full understanding of the original site (eg. topography, nature of soil, drainage characteristics).
An Introduction to Surveying
Surveying an area of land involves determining gradients, boundaries, and location and size of major features on a site, in order to produce an plan which accurately depicts these and other such characteristics of that site.
There are many different ways of surveying a site, including:
- Linear surveying
- Grid systems
Linear surveying is one of the most basic and as such, simplest forms of surveying. It is concerned merely with the measurement of length, i.e. the distance from point A to point B. The area to be surveyed is divided into a series of triangles whose sides rather than angles are measured. With this information at hand the principle of triangulation is applied and a plan can then be drawn.
A simple, yet accurate, way to map is by triangulation, described below:
First, establish an initial base line. It might be the distance between two survey pegs marking one of the boundaries, or between two trees; the only requirements are that the base line be long, and marked at the ends by permanent fixtures.
To fix the position of a feature near the base line (such as a tree), measure from two points on the base line to the tree. The two dimension lines to the tree should meet an approximate right angle (excessively acute or obtuse intersections mean loss of accuracy. Besides accurately fixing the position of the tree, you now have a new base line from which to plot other features.
Finally, to plot the positions of the features on the base plan, use a sharp pencil compass to draw arcs from the two ends of the base lines, with radii corresponding to the measured distances. For small sites, a scale of 10 mm to 1 m is appropriate.
Before you design your garden in detail, you should know the various levels and slopes with which you are dealing. The most useful way of showing levels on a plan is by contours. A contour is a line comparable with the edge of a pond, because it follows a truly horizontal course. If you picture your land with successive tidemarks each 30 cm higher than the last, you have a contour map with a vertical interval of 30 cm between contours.
Direct contouring is accomplished by sighting through a hand level (which will give an accurate, horizontal line of sight) and moving a boning rod about the site to find places (at various distances from the hand level) where the top of the boning rod corresponds with the line of sight. These positions are pegged. A line joining the pegs is then a truly level line a contour. The operation requires two people, one sighting through the hand level and the other holding the boning rod in various positions.