Since its invention in the early twentieth century, the tractor has made farming a lot easier. It is one of the most recognizable technologies in modern agriculture to date. But why is the tractor important? We will be answering this question right here.
Why is the Tractor Important?
A tractor is used in farming activities like plowing, harvesting, cultivating, planting and fertilizer application. It is also used as a means of transport. Major improvements have been made over the years, converting the tractor into what it is today. It is not uncommon to find a tractor with an air conditioner and a stereo system, making work under hot conditions bearable and providing entertainment at the same time with fun facts.
Uses of Tractors
As stated earlier, there are various uses for a tractor — regardless of the type. Farm work like plowing, cultivating, soil separation and planting were the main functions of the first tractors. With technological and mechanical developments in the transmission and other parts, machines like combine harvester were developed. These machines harvest different crops (mostly grains), and incorporate reaping, threshing and winnowing in one go.
Social Effects of the Tractor
Tractors increased productivity in farms compared to human laborers. This in turn led to the freeing up of unpaid workers. Most of these workers moved to cities after the Second World War to provide labor for other growing industries. The manufacturing and service industries benefited the most out of this movement as they both required hard working and technically skilled workers. Those who stayed behind in rural areas dedicated their time in other professions either off the farms or still in agriculture. This changed the landscape in rural areas as farms that were controlled by several families in the 1900’s could now be easily handled by one person. Other farms have ceased to exist, turning into grasslands or forests. Many small towns that were in existence in the early twentieth century also died as a result of the movement.
Economic Effects of the Tractor
Tractors reduce the costs of running farms because the animals that used to help in farm work consumed a significant fraction of farm produce. The cost of fuel used to operate the tractors was much less compared to feeding and taking care of horses and mules. This in turn reduced the cost of food to the consumers. The freed-up labor from farms to other industries led to other significant improvements in those industries. The tractor, in addition to the advancements made in chemical and biological research in agriculture, has made a major contribution in the improvement of economies throughout the world.
“Why is the tractor important?” is a big question with many answers. Other than the significant inroads made by the tractor in the agriculture sector, the economic and social effects are visible too. Without tractors, people would still be using animals for plowing and harvesting, which would result in less produce. The time it takes to plow or cultivate a huge piece of land would take longer with animals as they get tired and need plenty of rest. The work done by one tractor and it’s transmission may need more that one mule or horse. This is also why it’s important to know how to drive a tractor on the road. In addition, animal labor is more expensive because the animals will need food and medication. All a tractor needs is proper regular service and fuel, which is still significantly cheaper.