Agricultural labours maintain crops and tend livestock. They perform physical labour and operate machinery under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.
Agricultural labours usually do the tasks mentioned below:
- Plant, inspect, and harvest crops
- Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
- Apply fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi and weeds
- Feed livestock, clean and disinfect their cages and yards
- Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries and administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases
Following are examples of different types of agricultural labours:
Agricultural equipment operators use a variety of farm equipment to plough and sow seeds, as well as to maintain and harvest crops. They may use tractors, balers, fertilizer spreaders and so on.
Animal breeders choose animals that will mate and produce offspring with desired traits and characteristics. For instance, they breed chickens that lay more eggs. Moreover, animal breeders keep detailed records to know which animals to breed and when to breed, take note of animals’ health, size and weight as well as the amount and quality of its product or byproduct.
Crop, nursery and greenhouse farmworkers and labourers perform numerous tasks related to growing and harvesting grains, fruits, vegetables, and other crops. In other words, they need to plant, seed, prune, irrigate, harvest crops and pack and load them for shipment.
Farm and ranch animal farmworkers care for live animals, including cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and bees. These animals are usually raised to supply meat, eggs, milk or honey.
Farmworkers may feed, herd, weigh and load animals. Moreover, they need to keep records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides.
Most labours work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. This is because living crops and animals need constant care, workers’ schedules may vary to include early mornings, weekends, and holidays.
Many agricultural workers have seasonal schedules, which means that they need to work a longer period during planting or harvesting or when animals must be sheltered or fed.