Farmers and growers need the support of a sophisticated engineering industry to produce the machines and equipment they require to ensure that the crops and livestock they grow reach the high quality standards they must attain to obtain the best market prices. The construction industry similarly requires a specialist knowledge base to reduce expensive machine downtime.
The machinery and equipment manufacturers therefore need engineers of the highest calibre having the skills to deal with structures, mechanisms, control systems, hydraulics and electronics as well as having an interest in and appreciation of farming systems or other relevant industry sectors. They are looking for engineering graduates qualified to at least HND level.
Companies making equipment for agriculture and horticulture vary in size from the large international corporations to small companies specialising in products for a limited sector of the market. With one notable exception, the larger, internationally based companies dominate agricultural equipment manufacturing. This can often mean that there are opportunities for international assignments.
Engineers in the landbased sector get involved in manufacturing aspects in the following areas:
- Tractors and tillage machines
- Harvesting equipment
- Crop processing
- Animal welfare (handling and transport)
- Off Road vehicles
- Irrigation and drainage schemes
- Earth moving and other construction equipment
- Pioneer road and bridge construction
- Forestry machines
- Horticultural machines
- Fish farming equipment