Casuarina Harvest

In September we harvested around 3 acres of casuarina trees. The 3 plantations were 8-10 years old. These were rainfed crops and the trees had become nice and tall.
In the last years, wood prices have been very low and there was no incentive to harvest the trees. But then recently the price shot up and we were happy to have them cut and earn some cash for improving the farm’s machine park.
We agreed on a weight base price and the contractor Mr. Parsuraman did all the work. We had to keep track of the weight of the wood that was transported out.

The income of the harvest bought us a few machines which the farm badly needed. Our tractor-operated rotavator which was almost 30 years old and worn out, needed to be replaced. We bought a machine which is a size wider because our current tractor can power a slightly bigger machine which will save time and fuel.
Then we bought one more brush cutter to be able to keep the electric fences weed-free and clear the bunds of the paddy fields in the season. By now we have many km of electric fences to maintain, and we needed more equipment to keep up with the work.
This week we received a mulcher. This machine is tractor-mounted and will cut vegetation like green manure crops, grass and weeds, crop residues, shrubs, etc. We hope we can make a step in reducing soil tilling and increase/improve mulching techniques.
While increasing production we try not to increase labor but make people more effective through mechanization. Labor is becoming too costly and is more difficult to get nowadays. We train people in the use of these tools through which they become more effective, and we can reward them better, which in turn motivates and attracts people to the work on the farm.

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