Development of Agricultural Tools and Machines
The development of machines began in the 1890's when the first steam tractor and combine were made in California (Meij 3). There was a need to make more efficient use of the labor; therefore, machines were developed ("Agripedia" 2). By 1914, the combine started to spread outside of California to the rest of the United States (Meij 4). Then in 1928 it spread to Great Britain and then to the Netherlands after World War II (Meij 4). The development of these machines was affected by long run price variation (Meij 4). When prices of grains were high, there were demands for ploughs, seed drills, cultivators, reapers, winnowing machines and others (Meij 5). After 1912, there was a shift from steam to gasoline power, resulting in tractors forcing out the steam engines (Meij 6). These tractors were so heavy that they damaged the soil (Meij 6). This shift from horses to tractors was to eliminate human labor, increase productivity, and influence the development of a wider range of machines to be used with the tractor ("Agripedia" 4). In addition, the tractor allowed new machinery to be used on smaller farms, smaller parcels, and cut down the labor hours (Meij 15). Furthermore, the tractor started a new period in mechanization (Meij 30). Overall, mechanization saved labor, increased food production, and eliminated famines (Meij 31).
Circumstances for Mechanization in Europe
The two reasons Europe needed mechanization were to increase production and to decrease the labor condition (Meij 37). The mechanization started the substitution of horses with tractors because horses caused destructive effects on tilth and soil structure (Meij 40). The usage of tractors in Europe did not start until after World War II when there was a shortage of manpower and a need for larger production in agriculture (Meij 40). The main attributes of this mechanization were land and labor saving (Meij 43). The land saving came from the land set...
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