American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Development of a Comprehensive Computer Program for Predicting Farm Energy

S.A. Al-Hamed, S.A. Al-Suhaibani, F.S. Mohammad and M.F.I. Wahby

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2010.89.101

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 1

Pages 89-101

Abstract

Problem statement: The agricultural industry is a major user of energy. Energy is used directly for operating agricultural machinery and equipment on the farm and indirectly in the manufacturing of fertilizers and pesticides and processing of agricultural products off the farm. In order to reduce the cost of agricultural production, energy uses on the farm must be identified and optimized using modern tools. Approach: A comprehensive and easy to use computer program was developed for the purpose of determining the farm energy requirements with the aim of reducing costs and maximizing profit. The program includes a main database composed of nine sub-databases: Tractors sub-database, agricultural machinery sub-database, pumps sub-database, stationary engines sub-database, planting dates sub-database, soil sub-database, operating variables of farm operations sub-database, draft and power equations sub-database and water requirement sub-database. The program was designed with visual C++ language. Results: The program was tested by comparing its results with the manually calculated results. The results showed that the program worked properly. The developed program was also illustrated using an example farm to show the different stages of determining the required farm energy. Conclusion: The program can be used: To determine the farm energy requirements, to assess the current status of farms in terms of energy use efficiency, for future planning of modern farms and as an educational tool. It has many advantages including: Ease of use when dealing with input through interactive windows, ease of addition or deletion or updating of sub-databases, ease of exploring the program windows and the potential for further future development of any part of the program. The program is unique as it includes all the information in a database and has a multi dimensional uses including: Evaluation of an existing system, selecting new machinery based on an optimum energy use and future planning of farm operations.

Copyright

© 2010 S.A. Al-Hamed, S.A. Al-Suhaibani, F.S. Mohammad and M.F.I. Wahby. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.