1917-01-01

THE FARM TRACTOR AS RELATED TO THE FOOD PROBLEM 170028

The author first points out how increasing population and rising standards of living have increased the demand for foodstuffs and how such industrial activities as are brought about by the present conflict magnify the seriousness of the food problem, not only by withdrawing workers from the farms, but also by increasing food consumption on the part of those engaged in the speeded-up industries in order to supply the increased human energy required. The author then passes to a discussion of the tractor as a means for increasing the food supply by taking the place of withdrawn labor and cheapening production.
Several charts show the effect of increased individual activity on food consumption, the relation of food consumption to standards of living and the growth of population, the variation of food demand during political activities during the past century, and the relation of the cost per calorie of various cereals. The author then dwells at some length upon his contention that the problems of increasing the depth of the seed bed, improving its physical and chemical condition and taking advantage of the right time of the year from the standpoint of moisture and bacterial activity, indicate that the tractor is potentially the best means of production for meeting the food problem. These points as well as the relative cost are well illustrated by charts and text.
The increased output per man with tractors and the capacity compared with horses, the saving in time, the cost while idle, application to different sizes of farms and specific applications of the tractor to farm work, estimates of the number of tractors in operation, and the future possibilities of further tractor applications are some of the other topics discussed in the paper.

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