Chapter

Work Planning and Scheduling in Farming

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Abstract

The work planning and scheduling help workers to be productive without undue fatigue or any health issues. Worldwide, farming is primarily seasonal, and crop-specific farm operations are time-bound. The work schedule approaches conventionally applicable in the industrial environment are out of place in agriculture due to a variety of farming/crop growth requirements. This contribution elucidates the rationale of work schedules in relation to demographic trend, shift working system, and work–rest guidelines in reducing human fatigue in work. Globally, the average age of the working population is increasing by about one-half for each passing year. The most populous nations, China and India, provide distinct features of the population trend. The observation beckons that the Indian male youth segments were moving out of agriculture, and more women remained in regular activities, making feminization of agriculture. The youth component in China is relatively small, in comparison to population ageing 60 years and above. The question that looms frighteningly large is the challenge of integrating a massive number of old elderly into society, not merely as passive recipients of care but as active contributors to the economy. The concept of rationalization of working age calls for more emphasis on adopting flexible arrangements in retirement, whereby human skills and capacities are effectively utilized. However, the concept of retirement age in agriculture may not hold good in many developing countries as many of the farms are family-based. The contribution describes the prevailing work time systems, such as flexible daily hours, compressed workweek/extended workday, shift work, and overtime schedules. Since farming activities are grossly weather dependent and seasonal, the apparent over time is not uncommon in activities, such as sowing, weeding, and harvesting. The work system analysis covers human strain and drudgery, and planning of optimal work and rest cycle. The physiological methods of assessing human drudgery in various types of work and the perspectives of worktime planning in labour-intensive agriculture are elucidated herewith, intertwining both the technical and social systems.

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Chapter
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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This study compared the usefulness of the pulse rate and ventilation rate in the prediction of energy cost. Four young men were exercised at six grades on the motor-driven treadmill in order to derive data for regression equations, one to predict oxygen consumption from pulse rate data and the other using the ventilation rate. Separate equations were derived for each subject. The precision of prediction was then tested in three work tasks including treadmill walking while holding a weight in a static contraction, cycling the bicycle ergometer and hand-cranking the ergometer. Although large mean differences in percentage error were recorded in the pulse rate prediction, they were not statistically significant, probably due to large individual variations. The differences in ventilation rate prediction were significant and indicated the need for using closely related activities when deriving the predictive equations. Prediction accomplished with the ventilatory data resulted in smaller errors than did the pulse rate predictions.
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Six well-trained male subjects carried boxes of varying box width and weight at varying speeds on a level treadmill until steady-state heart rates were obtained. Analysis of the steady-state data for heart rate and metabolic cost led to development of highly accurate predictor models for both factors. The metabolic-cost model accounted for over 94% of the variance (R>0·94), and the heart-rate model accounted for over 81% of the variance present (R>0·81). Evaluation of other models for predicting physiological response to carrying loads found their predictions to differ significantly from the data of the present study.