PROGRESS OF POWER FARMING.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
That Which has so Far been Accomplished is but a Hint of What is Yet to Come.
IN spite of the apparent set-back from which the agrimotor industry had been suffering before the Trials (for I am hopeful that they will effect a change), there is every indication that power farming as a whole is making considerable progress. The idea of new methods is now permeating the minds not merely of the big farmers, but of everybody rural —the small farmer, the small-holder, the market gardener, and even the agricultural labourer. They think about machinery of see how things can be done better by the use of up-to-date methods. In short they see that power farming is going to help them out of many difficulties; it will enable them to do their work and conduct their business on sound and. economical lines. There are many farmers to-day contemplating the elimination of the horse from the farm altogether, doing the work by mechanical power, using agrimotors, steamers and lorries.
As a sign of what is taking place in the minds of men concerned with agriculture who are thinking along 'lines that are not of the old order, one may instance the character of inquiries for advice and assistance received from farming readers of The Ccrnmercial Motor, and they vary considerably.
Here is one from a market gardener. He wants ti know what would be the best type of tractor to use upon his holding. He says he has already introduced into his business a Ford lorry, which he finds nest economical, and with the aid of a. tractor he hopes to do without hors eyi on his holding. The fact that he has found the matter contained in this paper of interest has induced him to write for information and guidance.
Another correspondent of quite different type, who will be settling down on a farm of his own shortly, hopes to do all the work with tractors and machinery, arid not have a horse on the farm. .
He is an engineer as well as an agriculturist. This is a creditable ambition, and there is little. doubt that the proposition will be highly successful in the end. Of course, it is necessary for a man embarking on an undertaking like this to have a good knowledge of farming; indeed, that is essential, whether it is intended to employ machinery only for power or to breed and use horses. It is the experienced agriculturists who can produce best results from the employment of machinery if they would think more along modern lines. If a man has had some training as an engineer, that is a kind of doitble asset; some knowledge of mechanics is necessary, but it is always possible to obtain a good mechanic if, the farmer himself is able to arrange and organize his work in such a way as to make the employment of a, highly skilled mall profitable. Articles on the agrimotor and power farming generally have appeared in the columns of this paper for several years; in fact, the writer is more than convinced that power farming as such is the type of farming that will 'prevail in the future. What is seen of it now is a trifling foretaste of what will be the state of things agriculturally in half a dozen years to come. The articles which have been published have dealt with the cost of currying out the various -operations by agrimotor, and alSo with the work which the appliance. can do, and, following up this policy, a continuance in the effort of maintaining these ideas will show that our reasoning has been based upon fact, as indicated by the tendency of the times.
We have, during recent months, seen the agrimotor at work in spring, summer and autumn operations driving threshing machines. The equipment of the agrimotor has not been _neglected, and the great
part which it is playing now in the harvest and haymaking fields has received due notice. Power on the farm and on the estate are interesting subjects. The motor lorry, again, is likely to play a. very great part in future agricultural development At the present time the light lorry appears to be taking a very big place. Naturally, many inquirers ask for the names and particulars of the best makes of tractor and, as this is a subject which at the moment occupies many minds, a few words dealing with the question may not be out of place.
It is very difficult for anybody, whoever he may be, to say that this or that agrimator is the best. Considering the makes that have now become fully established hi the general settling down to type, i the best machine is only the best n given circumstances. For example, the Fordson is a very handy little machine where two furrows only are required, i and it is the cheapest on the market n the matter of actual price.
When we speak of the "settling' down to type," we mean for general and particular purposes a, certain type of machine wins through and secures for itself a place in that work. For example, one may say that though the Austin and the Fordson are very good for the work, there is scarcely a machine more suitable for hop and fruit work than the Cletrac, and so one may go on illustrating machines suitable for particular classes of work. But, if one goes to Scotland, one finds that there ploughing must
be deeper and more thorough than in England; consequently, a, more powerful agrimotor is required. One of the best machines for this class of work— although I know the chain-track machine is not very well liked—is the Renault. It is a machine having its weight well distributed, makes very little compression upon the soil, and will haul as many as 'iv furrows at a time, ploughing to a good depth on medium soil.
But, if we turn to the general type of tractor— that is, the one most suited for general purposes— it will be found that the lightweight machine is the favourite. It is the favourite for many reasons. In the first place, its initial cost is comparatively low, working expenses also are reasonable, and one has a machine that can be taken anywhere about the field. It will work on the ploughed land, and do absolutely any job on the farm. Nobody would have a handier appliance on his farm ; that is why we find machines like the Austin, International, British Wallis, the• 10-18 Case, the Parrett and others such great favourites.
Other machines that might be described as suitable for farms with a soil of a somewhat heavy texture, one might mention such machines as the Saunderson, Peterbro, Twin City, Titan and the two large Case machines.
At any rate, readers who are thinking of making a selection of a tractor for their holding will dowell to consider any or all of these machines.