Modern Machinery Still Better

Horses vs Tractors (Photo: courtesy of Frank J. Buchman)

“The days of tossing four small square hay bales out the south hay mow door to the bunk are gone.”

Morning feeding chores would be finished by pitching two more bales down the chute to the barn manger.

Sometimes a harnessed draft team was hitched to a wagon for distributing hay to other nearby pasture critters.

Those days when a family was raised on a quarter section farm have become hindsight. Now it takes big trucks and tractors to get the livestock chores done hopefully before noon.

Instead of a couple dozen head of livestock fed in the barnyard, it’s several hundred if not a thousand. They’re spread out over a section of ranchland or sometimes several miles away.

It was sorrowful for some farmers in the past century when they replaced horsepower with tractors. Several families have talked about tears shed when a farmer replaced his team with a tractor. The horses had become almost family as they were handled and used every day.

Small tractors became essential for field work and handling livestock with pickups filling in for feeding and hauling.

Like all agriculture, technology changed rapidly, and bigger, more powerful equipment was deemed essential for growing enterprises.

An established routine makes choring relatively easy for the operator with livestock soon becoming accustomed to feeding time.

Problems are part of farm living and equipment breakdowns are quite frequent always increasing when the weather becomes inclement.

Most farmers used to be such mechanically inclined that machinery repair could be done personally.

That has changed with computerization, so most equipment requires a special technician to calculate the problem.

Despite fewer agricultural operations, there are not enough facilities with adequate technology and operators to keep up with machinery breakdowns.

Repairmen used to be called to the field getting farmers back working within a few hours. That is impossible today due to the necessity of having equipment in the shop for repairs.

Machinery dealers have long lists of equipment needing work with technicians working overtime. It might require several days before a machine can be overhauled.

Some people have indicated the world would be better off going back to horse and mule teams.

Reminded of Ecclesiastes 7:10: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.”


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