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What Machinery Has Done for the Farmer WE FINH. as stated in a previous article, the report of the United States Department of Agriculture for 1866 eulogizing farm machinery if the acme had been reached in the development of labor-saving devices for rural use. But not until thirtv-o(l(l jresri later was the real epic of farm me chanics lung officially, and then by a government bureau not attached to the agricultural department. About 20 years ago the United States Bureau of Labor Statist!. a nut forth tin most striking figures extant on what machinery does for food production. In 1830, the report pointed out, it took 64 hours and 15 minutes of man labor to produce an acre of wheat, the labor cost being $3.71. In 1896, the report claims it took only two hours and 43 minutes, at a labor cost of 60 cents, to produce an acre of wheat. In 1830 it took 66 hours and 15 minutes of man labor at the cost of $3.73 to produce an acre of oats; in 1893 it took only seven hours and six minutes, at a labor cost of $1.07, to do the same thing. From 1855 to 1894 the human labor time in pro ducing a bushel of corn, says the same report, de creased from four hours and 30 minutes to 41 min utes. In 1830 a man had to work a total of four hours and 30 minutes in producing a bushel of wheat, while in 1894, it took only 10 minutes of man work to get a bushel of wheat. The labor cost in the case of wheat, says the report, fell frorn 17 3-4 cents to 3 1-3 cents in the same period of time. In 1880 the average number of acres cultivated by each farm worker in America was 23.3 ; the number rose to 31 by 1900, and the value of each worker's annual product rose from $454.37 to $286.82, that is, an increase of about 60 per cent due to labor-saving machinery. Even with cotton, which hasn't been helped by me chanical invention so much as other staple products of the farm, the labor time required for producing 1, 000 pounds of unginned lint fell from 167 hours and 48 BUMiteJ in 1841 to 78 hours and 42 minutes in 1895. In the realm of grain production the effect of man labor aided by machinery increased during a period of about a half century from 150 per cent in the case of rye to 2,244 per cent in the case of barley, says one invest igator. Although the foregoing figures have been used fre quently without reservation by authoritative writers on agriculture, it is fair to say that their absolute ac curacy is not accepted by many farm economists of the present time. However, the approximate accuracy of most of them is not disputed. Since the figures were developed, the advance in labor-saving farm machinery has been almost as phe nomenal as during the period covered by them. For when the statistics were worked out, there were vir tually no tractors, no motor trucks, or few combines for harvesting wheat. Though today it is possible to do all the work of planting wheat by a single opera tion and all that of harvesting by another operation immense machines being used in each instance a farm economist tells me that he estimates the normal labor time given to the production of an acre of wheat at about 10 hours. Statistics dealing with such phases of farming on a national scale after all must be more curious than informative, as the best labor machinery can be or is used in only a small percentage of total operations having to do with any big crop. Theoretically speaking, machinery lias done as much for the farm as for the facton, though there may be a substantial prac tical difference. The effect of farm ma chinery on the national JKonomics of farming can Jj best illustrated per "PS by ome figures on Population and farm pro ton. In a period of years the following rf,c of increases took Place: population y dumber of farms...!260 a S B, ; 00 ES2 ,of co,,on 201 Bushe s of corn ....257 hd of wheat 389 Bushels of oats 411 hh.j p.cr,od in question d with 1889, and no By AARON HARDY ULM This is the fifth of a series of articles by Mr. Vim on farm life and farm management. industry. To what extent the economies resulting from it have benefited the farmer equally with the non farmer is a question of doubt, though the answer prob ably favors the non-farmer. Everybody knows that labor-saving machinery has cut the hours of labor and raised the standard of living in cities. It has also helped to raise the standard of living in the country, but perhaps to not so great an extent as in the cities! It has probably done much less by cutting hours of work in the country than in the city. But the disad vantages labor-saving machinery has carried into city life are a less pronounced accompaniment of its ad vance in the country. The labor-saving machine on the farm has tended less to make a machine of the farmer than it has done with regard to the city worker. Though it has promoted big farming, the effect there has not been nearly so great as in industry. While labor-saving machinery may have benefited the farmer less than the city resident, it certainly has not penalized him nearly so much. Many people are prone to forget what mechanics have done and much more important what they may do for farming and rural life. A recent farm survey made by the Department of Agriculture showed, for instance, that in one notable agricultural state more than 92 per cent of the farmers have automobiles, and that for all the western states 62 per cent have cars. In several states telephones are more common on farm than in city homes, hav ing a prevalence of nearly 100 per cent on the farms of a few states, and 72 per cent for all the farming West. Few cities will show as good rating for either auto mobiles or telephones as the farms in perhaps one half the states of the West. And both are more labor-saving devices than they are in the cities, par ticularly if we include only home telephones and "pleasure cars." A great many people maintain the impression that those living refinements supplied on a community scale in urban communities are virtually unavailable to the country, where vast waterworks systems, electric light ing plants or gas plants cannot be maintained by local government or big corporations. There are farming communities in this country where every home is equipped for and enjoys electric lighting. There arc others where every farm has a waterworks plant. The survey already mentioned showed that there is running water in nearly one-third of the farm homes of the North and West, while running water is in at least the kitchen of virtually one-half the homes. More than one-half the homes have washing machines and nearly one-half have carpet sweepers, while 95 per cent own that first of all household mechanical conveniences, the sewing machine. And if. you think even more striking g- m farm SS gn?wtKSfCOnipared With Z h ?f Puliation have Marh- nn& tnc succeeding thirty years, tween wit may exP,ain the growing divergence be and fPu an(1 urban populations. It is taking fewer wer persons to provide food for all the people. the citierCUmStnCC nc who is saddene(l y Krowth oi recoRnu i u cxPcnsc of agriculture often fails to Rreater lA tnc city man may oftcn rcndcr a farmer m l farminK than is piven by the actual trctori ti C" who kuild harvesting implements and as tZ!i i whack farm labor needs into driblets km 372 w,th. tho of the hand or hoe farm of food nr SiSt m,8nti,y in improving the economics here to P?d"ct,?n. The point that the writer wishes served or i$ tnat labor-saving machinery has may serve farming just as much as any other There arc now more then 10.000 motor truck, many of ihern operated co-operatively, serving regular routes, aay iovettigators. And oi oourse many ten of thousand of truck ere used by (armara individually in marketing cropa or otherwise expediting their work the average farm house is the fly-haven that it used to be, note that the survey disclosed the pleasing fact that the windows and doors of 96 per cent of farm homes in the North and West are screened. Bath tubs were found in 20 per cent of homes, which is prob ably a higher rating than some cities can show, cer tainly higher than ny city could claim thirty years ago, and far higher than European cities can boast of now. If one turns the pages of a first-class farm paper, it will be seen that the biggest ads therein usually re late to mechanical comforts and conveniences that a generation ago were not thought of in connection with farm life. B "It would not pay the manufacturers of such prod ucts to advertise in farm papers if they were not sell ing goods of that character to farmers," the Secretary of Agriculture said not long ago The Department of Agriculture has made many studies of mechanical conveniences for the farmer, both in cultivating his fields and enlarging the comforts of his home. Those studies show that the farm home, in a me chanical sense, can be equal to the city home, with all the peculiar advantages adhering to the country in addition. And they show that a great many of them are. Of course, the city man doesn't have to make much initial investment in such things as waterworks and lighting plants, as the countryman must do. These in itial investments are the chief influences that hold back big mechanical improvements in the country. It is relatively easy for the farmer to buy land, which he can get usually on long-term credits predicated on the land paying for itself out of what it produces. This has abetted the natural appetite of the American farmer for land, ever more land an appetite which many students of farm life think should be restrained and directed toward making best possible use of land. The farmer without much cash can't easily get the equipment for waterworks and lighting plants on long term credit. Movements are under way looking to the solution of that and other credit problems having to do with rural life advancement. Big business might find it highly profitable to work out means by which farmers may purchase important household conven iences and perhaps costly farm equipment on long-term payment plans whereby they could "pay for them selves" as land is expected to do. For those things can be just as helpful to profit-making farming a land. "The lack of conveniences on the farm is not nearly so distressing a fact as the presence of conveniences is a fact of hope," says Professor C. J. Galpin. the rural life specialist in the Office of Farm Manage ment of the Department of Agriculture. If one wants to stretch the imagination the day can be visioned when animal power will be an unknown quantity on the American farm. The census of 1920 is disclosing a large decrease in the farm horse popu lation as well as in the number of horses in the cities. There are probably more than a half million trac tors on American farms at the present time. The distribution during the last several years has been at the rate of 150,00Qto 200,000 a year, and during the last year it was not so large as was anticipated. Many thousands of farm trucks have displaced horses for hauling use. Gas engines are supplying power for varied farm uses, from cutting silage to running wash ing machines. Mechanics give assurance that farming has passed forever the bumpkin and clodhopper era the "hoe farming" stage as the students of rural life call it. But the beginner farmer, if wise, will approach ma chine farming with due care and caution. The tractor, for example, went through 20 years' experimentation before it proved its case by practical demonstra tion. But there is no question now. say the investi gators, that the tractor is doing and will continue to do wonders for farming. Another curious result of the studies of tractor farming is the fact that it hasn't vet rro- duced the "horseless farm" except on a very limited scale. It merely reduces the amount of horse power that farmers must maintain. It was believed that in some sections it would boost the growing of horses, by making it profitable for farmers to maintain more brood mares. But this doesn't seem to have resulted. Because of the grow ing scarcity of arable land ready for cultivation, the time is approaching when increased food needs due to growth in population will have to be met in large part by intensive methods of farming that will raise the volume of production per unit of cultivated area. Machinery will be a great aid in fa cilitating intensive agri culture a phase of farm ing that the beginner or the outside student can find well worth studying. In fact, land as mere land i usually given exagger ated rating in estimating the comparative values of all factors entering into t arming. Farm economists say that the use of land is only about one-sixteenth the cost of growing a potato crop, less than one-fifth the cost of an oat crop and only one-third the cost Ol even a hay crop. After all, the great factors in farm ing are labor, implements and intelligence. This doesn't mean that the land equation is negligible; its sub ordinate rating in the sum of total costs renders it all the more important that land be selected with the greatest care. For the product of labor applied to land grows in more than arithmetical proportion to the yield per unit of land to which the labor is applied. "If an amateur hopes to make money by farming," says an authority, "he should go where the present farmers are prosperous, that is to say, where land is good."