Farm Implements Advancements In The Last 75 Years
Farm Implements and A Few Of Their Advancements In The Last 75 Years
It would be fair to say that farming has
changed dramatically in the last 75 years due to the advancements of farm implements. For example, in
the late 1930’s, a walking cultivator pulled by two mules was used to plow cotton and corn. Today, the
very same job is accomplished with all sorts of bells and whistles such as heat, a GPS system, radio,
computers, and even cup holders inside a comfortable tractor cab. Funny isn’t it, to see the differences
between farming a mere 75 years ago and modern day practices?
Have you ever heard of a dibber? After years of planting seeds
by hand and guessing at how far apart each seed in the row should be (or was), someone came up with the
dibber. A dibber was a simple piece of wood with holes drilled all the way through at equal intervals.
To plant the seeds, the board was placed on the ground, a stick pushed through each hole, and a seed dropped into
the hole. Can you imagine planting an entire field like that? Nowadays, entire fields are planted with
a seed drill pulled behind a tractor that utilizes air pressure to push the seeds out of the seed drill machine and
into the ground. Amazing!
The earliest plows recorded were extremely simplistic farm implements used
to loosen the soil and prepare it for planting. These plows were constructed from timbers and a forked
stick. They were called an “ard”. The ard or plow was attached to a team of oxen and pulled along,
breaking through the hard crust of the soil so seeds could be planted. In the year 1836, a man named John
Deere designed a heavier and more efficient plow, which incorporated not only, wood, but metal too. Does the
name sound familiar? Yes, he is the man who began the company that now produces all types and sizes of
dependable and durable farm implements and machinery.
Corn was once harvested by hand while walking behind teams of horses
pulling wagons. It would take days to pick an entire field clean of all the corn, especially in those years
when the harvest was plentiful. Modern day farmers still work very hard, but can harvest acres of corn in a
single day with the farm machinery and tools available today.
The first tractors used by farmers
were very rough machines that often presented a whole new learning curve over using horses, mules, or
oxen. Tractors used on farms today are amazing pieces of machinery that boast everything from heat, air
conditioning, and computerized dashboards.
During the last 75 years, we’ve also seen:
· The introduction of the hydraulically operating three-point hitch which has now
become the standard on many of the production tractors across the world today.
· Semi-dwarf wheat varieties, appearing on the scene in 1935, literally transformed
wheat production not only in the United States, but across the world.
· Artificial insemination of cows
· Robotic milking machines
· The Internet has become a great tool for farmers today. They can see weather
reports, the markets, and communicate with farmers about anything and everything pertaining to farming and
livestock via e-mail.
· Round balers
· Loaders (great for moving manure, bales, and anything else from place to place
instead of completely by hand)
· Gross margins
It’s pretty amazing if you think about how much farm implements have
changed over the last 75 years or so. However, farming in general hasn’t changed a great deal. Farmers
are extremely hard workers. They are dedicated to the land and love what they do. They’re committed to
long hours and are required to have faith that all their hard work will come to fruition at the time of
harvest. Farmers and their families are a rare and wonderful group of men, women, and children of whom this
country should be proud. We should also be thankful that they are out there working in all manner of weather
conditions to ensure that we have food on our tables.