Technology: ms.sue, bobpursley
posted by y912f on .
24. From a technological viewpoint, explain why farming has gotten less labor intensive over the last hundred years.
You two helped me on this yesterday, and I combined your answers and added my own to it. Please let me know if it is okay.
24. Farming has gotten less labor intensive over the last hundred years for a few reasons. Tractors, material handling systems, feeding system, feed and environmental controls are automatic. In other words, many repetitive functions have been replaced with machines. Basically, large, gasoline-powered machinery just uses less labor than a horse-drawn plow. Hay production is an example of an activity that has become mechanized. Most farmers raised their own hay and stored it in loose stacks until WWII. In recent years, however, the self-sufficient family farm has been disappearing. They are being replaced with larger farms that specialize in a specific crop. One group of farmers operate large dairy farms that do not raise hay, while other farmers specialize in raising and selling hay to these dairy farmers and beef cattle feed lots. This caused a problem that could be solved by technology. More recently another agricultural problem has surfaced, which is the fact that farm labor has become expensive. The solution to this problem is farm implements, which are machines that allow one person to do more work, assisted by the machine.