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AGR2302 Agricultural Machinery

Semester 1, 2014 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Contents on this page


Examiner: Guangnan Chen
Moderator: Joseph Foley


Machinery is an important component of any farming system, and an understanding of its specification, operating principles and performance is essential for engineers involved in agriculture. This course examines the functional requirements of the major groups of machinery and investigates the engineering principles and subsystems which underlie their operation. It develops the knowledge and skills necessary to analyse and predict machine performance, and to advise and assist farmers in the choice and efficient operation of a wide range of machinery. It also includes discussion of energy resources and uses in agriculture and recent research and developments in precision agriculture. Tractor stability, safety, testing and performance are investigated, and tillage, planting, spraying and harvesting machinery are described and analysed. Methods for the rational selection of the machinery components of a farming system are outlined. The design of machinery subsystems is described. The thermodynamics of grain drying and controlled environments are also investigated. The course uses field work with tractors and other machinery to show how the theory is related to practice.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the importance of uses of energy and renewable energy in agriculture, and their impacts on environment;
  2. describe the operating principles of internal combustion diesel engine;
  3. describe the measurement of tractor PTO, drawbar performance;
  4. calculate and compare the tractive efficiency of different tractor-implement systems;
  5. compare the different types of tillage implements and select the most suitable type for various purposes;
  6. compare the different types of planters and different types of spraying equipment;
  7. appraise the function of grain and other crop harvesters;
  8. describe the differences of various fans, pumps and irrigation systems;
  9. calculate basic thermodynamic properties and thermodynamic processes of grain drying, using psychrometric charts;
  10. justify the rational selection of farm machinery and the economics of farming systems.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The agricultural tractor. Performance measurement and PTO and drawbar testing. Implement/tractor performance. 25.00
2. Mechanisation. Energy. Choice of farm machinery. Farming systems. Precision agriculture. 15.00
3. Principles and performance of tillage implements, planters, harvesters and spraying and irrigation equipment. 45.00
4. Basic thermodynamic properties and processes. Grain driers, controlled environments and psychrometric charts. 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Booker, DB, Bakker-Arkema, FW & Hall, CW 1992, Drying and storage of grains and oilseeds, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY.
  • Srivastava, AK, Goering, CE & Rohrbach, RP 1993, Engineering principles of agricultural machines, American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Michigan.
    (ISBN 0-929355-33-4.)
  • Witney, B 1988, Choosing and using farm machines, Longman, Harlow, England.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 86.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 37.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 150 15 18 Apr 2014
ASSIGNMENT 2 150 15 02 May 2014
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 700 70 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). Students may take into this examination an A4 sheet (two sides) containing any information that they believe will be relevant and useful. The A4 sheet of information must be submitted with the answer booklet.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //