Minnesota Farmer


A response on “Plowing with old iron”
September 26, 2011, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Farm, Minnesota, tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jane asked, “They look great, don’t they? And for crying out loud, tell us non-farmers why aren’t they used anymore.” My answer:

Jane,
Not only have tractors gotten better, but the implements they pull have gotten better.
When the pioneers came to the plains they brought the plow and used it to turn over the sod so that they could plant food crops that people could eat. But the soil of the plains could not take being without plant cover and much soil washed or blew away,think dust bowl. Although some farmers still plow, they are becoming fewer as we learn ways to keep the plant material from previous crops in place and still plant a crop. Modern chemicals, many of them nature based, keep the weeds at bay while allowing a new crop to grow and help keep the soil in place.
Today, because of the better jobs in the city, there are fewer farmers left to till the soil, and we must farm ever increasing acres as more and more rural young people move to city jobs. The tiny tractors of the past cannot hope to keep up with the acres we must cover to feed the world. We still love to see them in operation, but they are tools of the past as much as the abacus and the slide-rule.


Michael

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