6 Ways Machinery Has Helped Agriculture Thrive
The agricultural industry has been revolutionized over the past 100 years by introducing technologically advanced machines that can perform the physical tasks normally required of human farmers and ranchers. This shift in technology has made it possible to grow more food faster and at a lower cost than ever imagined, making the U.S. agricultural industry one of the world’s largest in the world and enabling it to thrive despite global economic downturns.
Look at six ways today’s agricultural machinery has made farming more efficient, effective, and profitable for farmers worldwide.
1) They Save Time
Farms have gotten larger, and machines have helped them do so. Farming is incredibly labor-intensive, making it difficult for smaller farms to survive. However, farming with machines is much faster than farming by hand; therefore, large-scale farms can be run more efficiently with machines than without them.
2) They Free Up Resources For Other Use
Traditional agriculture involved heavy manual labor. Plowing, planting, watering, harvesting—these are tasks that individuals could only complete by using their physical strength. Farmers no longer need to hire and pay workers to do these tasks with mechanized equipment, such as the Kubota excavator mulcher. Instead of adding people to their payrolls, many farmers have been able to hire contractors for specialized work or even cut down on workers and leave some farm tasks in better shape because they don’t have to worry about them anymore.
3) They Eliminate Physical Labor
Even if you could completely automate agriculture—planting, harvesting, and everything in between—you’d never want to. Human workers are always faster and more accurate than automated machines, but sometimes you can’t afford to pay humans. That’s when mechanization comes in handy; with a few tools like tractors and harvesters, even unskilled labor can quickly produce huge volumes of crops.
4) Better, Healthier Crops
Some farming techniques, like planting genetically modified seeds or using natural pesticides, have resulted in crops that grow faster and stronger than ever before. Our food is getting healthier—and it’s taking less energy to make it that way.
5) Reduction In Carbon Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions have increased globally, but some farming practices have significantly reduced them. Though carbon dioxide benefits plants, too much is toxic and causes higher concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere. To help reduce greenhouse gases in your community, consider adopting a practice that relies on machinery rather than manpower. A good example of such a practice is no-till agriculture.
6) The Effects Spread To The Entire Economy
By enabling farmers to increase productivity and produce more food per worker, advancements in technology have made it possible for many people to dedicate their time and energy to sectors other than agriculture. These technologies continue to impact economies even as they allow individual farmers to devote less of their own time and effort toward agricultural activities.
In addition, they also transform how we think about our lives—technology makes it possible for most Americans not only to survive without working on farms but also without growing any of their food.