Back to: Jss2 Agricultural Science (PVS)
Topic: Farm Buildings
Farm buildings are structures on farms that are designed and built for various agricultural purposes. These structures can range from simple storage sheds to large barns and agricultural processing facilities.
Uses/importance of Farm Buildings
Farm buildings are essential structures that provide shelter, storage, and workspace for agricultural activities. They play an essential role in improving farm productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Here are 15 uses and importance of farm buildings:
- Livestock Housing: Livestock housing is one of the most critical uses of farm buildings. It provides shelter and protection to animals such as cows, pigs, and poultry from harsh weather conditions, predators, and diseases.
- Crop Storage: Farm buildings can also be used for storing crops such as grains, vegetables, and fruits. The storage facilities help to prevent losses due to weather conditions, pests, and other factors.
- Equipment Storage: Farm buildings provide secure storage for farm equipment such as tractors, ploughs, and cultivators. Proper storage helps to prevent theft, damage, and deterioration of equipment.
- Processing Facilities: Some farm buildings are designed for processing agricultural products such as milk, cheese, and meat. They provide a clean, hygienic environment for food processing and packaging.
- Workshops: Farm buildings are ideal for workshops and repair shops. Farmers can use the buildings for repairing equipment and vehicles and carrying out maintenance tasks.
- Offices: Some farm buildings serve as offices for farm managers, administrators, and other staff. They provide a central location for managing farm operations and administrative tasks.
- Housing: Some farm buildings can be converted into living quarters for farm workers, managers, or owners. This can provide affordable housing for those working on the farm.
- Greenhouses: Farm buildings can be designed as greenhouses for growing crops such as flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Greenhouses provide a controlled environment for growing plants and can extend the growing season.
- Barns: Barns are traditional farm buildings used for storing hay, feed, and other supplies. They also provide shelter for livestock and can be used as milking parlours.
- Silos: Silos are tall structures used for storing grain and silage. They help to preserve the quality of the stored crops and prevent spoilage.
- Drying Sheds: Some farm buildings are designed for drying crops such as tobacco, tea, and coffee. The sheds provide a controlled environment for drying the crops and help to maintain their quality.
- Cold Storage: Cold storage facilities are used for storing perishable products such as fruits, vegetables, and meat. The facilities help to maintain the quality of the products and extend their shelf life.
- Packing Sheds: Packing sheds are used for packaging and grading agricultural products. They provide a clean, controlled environment for sorting and packing products.
- Training Centers: Some farm buildings serve as training centres for farmers, agricultural workers, and students. They provide a space for learning and practising farming techniques.
- Energy Production: Some farm buildings are designed to produce renewable energy such as solar or wind power. This can help farmers reduce their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.
Types of Farm Buildings
On a farm, there are two main types of buildings:
Temporary farm buildings
Temporary farm buildings are typically constructed using inexpensive and easily accessible materials like bamboo, sorghum, stalks, wood, palm fronds, mud, corrugated iron sheets or asbestos. They are commonly used for storing equipment, raising seedlings, housing animals, and construction projects. These structures are also known as “make-shift” buildings because they are designed to be easily abandoned or destroyed once they have served their purpose. However, due to the nature of the materials used, they require frequent maintenance.
Examples of Temporary farm buildings
Temporary farm buildings are structures that are built for a short period of time and are designed to provide shelter or storage for agricultural operations. Here are some examples of temporary farm buildings:
- Greenhouses: Greenhouses are temporary structures that provide shelter for plants and crops. They are often used for seedling propagation, growing crops out of season, or extending the growing season for certain crops. Greenhouses are typically made of plastic or glass and can be easily assembled and disassembled.
- Hay barns: Hay barns are temporary structures used for storing hay and other feed for livestock. They are typically made of wood or metal and can be easily assembled and disassembled. Hay barns can be used on a seasonal basis and are often taken down once the hay has been used up.
- Livestock shelters: Livestock shelters are temporary structures used for providing shelter to animals. They are often used in the winter months to protect animals from cold weather and wind. Livestock shelters can be made of wood, metal, or plastic and can be easily assembled and disassembled.
- Equipment sheds: Equipment sheds are temporary structures used for storing farm equipment and machinery. They are often made of wood or metal and can be easily assembled and disassembled. Equipment sheds can be used on a seasonal basis or for short-term storage.
- Portable restrooms: Portable restrooms are temporary structures used for providing sanitation facilities for workers and visitors on farms. They are often used during peak farming seasons or for events and can be easily transported and set up.
Permanent farm buildings
permanent farm buildings are constructed to last for an extended period of time. These buildings are solidly built using materials like cement, sand, gravel, wood, corrugated iron sheets, aluminium or asbestos for roofing. Examples of permanent buildings include farm offices, stores for farm supplies and harvests, workshops, generator houses, water storage tanks, living quarters for farm workers, animal houses, and processing facilities like milking houses. Although permanent buildings are expensive to construct, they do not require as much maintenance as their temporary counterparts. However, the roof should be regularly inspected and repaired if necessary.
Permanent buildings are structures that are designed and constructed to last for a long time. They are made of durable materials and are built to withstand the test of time and different weather conditions.
examples of permanent buildings
Here are some examples of permanent buildings:
- Farm office – This is a permanent building that serves as the administrative hub of the farm. It is used for managing the farm’s finances, keeping records of farm activities, and planning farm operations.
- Stores for farm supplies and harvests – These are permanent buildings used for storing farm supplies such as fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides, as well as harvested crops such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are built with adequate ventilation and pest control measures to prevent spoilage and damage.
- Workshops, generator houses, and water storage tanks – These are permanent buildings that serve as the power and water supply hub of the farm. Workshops are used for repairing and maintaining farm equipment, while the generator house houses the generator that provides power to the farm. Water storage tanks are used for storing water for irrigation and other farm activities.
- Living quarters for farm workers – These are permanent buildings where farm workers live. They are designed to provide basic living amenities such as sleeping areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. They are usually built in clusters to accommodate a large number of workers.
- Animal houses e.g. cattle, sheep, goat, poultry – These are permanent structures designed for housing livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. They are built with adequate ventilation, lighting, and temperature control to ensure the comfort and health of the animals.
- Processing e.g. milking house – These are permanent buildings used for processing farm products such as milk, meat, and eggs. They are built with the necessary equipment and facilities to ensure that farm products are properly processed, stored, and packaged. The milking house, for example, is used for milking cows and storing milk before it is transported to the market.
Maintenance of Farm Buildings
Maintenance of farm buildings is crucial to ensure that they remain in good condition, safe, and functional. Here are 10 maintenance practices that are essential for farm buildings:
- Regular inspection: Regular inspection of farm buildings is important to detect any signs of damage or wear and tear. Inspections should be carried out on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the condition of the building.
- Cleaning: Regular cleaning of farm buildings is important to keep them free of dirt, dust, and debris. It is also important to prevent the buildup of moisture which can lead to mould growth and structural damage.
- Painting: Painting farm buildings helps to protect the building from weather damage and also improves its appearance. The painting should be done every 5-7 years or as needed.
- Roof maintenance: Regular roof maintenance is important to prevent leaks and other roof-related issues. This includes cleaning gutters, checking for loose or missing tiles, and repairing any damage.
- Window and door maintenance: Regular maintenance of windows and doors is important to ensure they are functioning properly and to prevent air and water leaks. This includes cleaning and lubricating hardware and checking for cracks or damage.
- Pest control: Regular pest control is important to prevent damage to the building and to maintain a safe and healthy environment. This includes sealing gaps and cracks where pests can enter and using pest control measures as needed.
- Electrical maintenance: Electrical systems in farm buildings should be inspected regularly to ensure they are safe and functioning properly. This includes checking wiring, outlets, and switches, and repairing any damage or malfunctions.
- Plumbing maintenance: Regular plumbing maintenance is important to prevent leaks and other plumbing issues. This includes checking for leaks, cleaning drains, and repairing or replacing damaged pipes.
- HVAC maintenance: Regular maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems is important to ensure they are functioning properly and to prevent breakdowns. This includes cleaning filters, checking for leaks, and repairing or replacing damaged parts.
- Structural maintenance: Regular structural maintenance is important to ensure that the building is safe and stable. This includes checking for cracks, corrosion, and other signs of damage and repairing any issues as needed.