The comparatively slow introduction of mechanical power for farm operations has been a surprise and a disappointment to many. It is easily understandable why the deficient machines failed to sell but not so clear why really efficient outfits failed to make greater headway. No one can make a thorough study of the existing situation and conclude that any or all of the reasons given are even in a large part responsible for the slowness in adopting the tractor more generally on the farms; it is obvious that there are other strong influences. Most of these are connected with the farm business itself and, by considering the matter in relation to the individual farmer rather than farmers as a class, these influences become more clear.
Farm-tractor adoption data are then presented, the statement being made that, in addition to the fact that there is such a plentiful supply of work animals that universal adoption of mechanical power must await their passing, three other influential factors are necessary to bring about the more general utilization of the tractor. These factors are then specified and discussed.
The farmers' income is analyzed, critical comment upon the subject of human versus mechanical labor being made. Changes in equipment and methods are advocated and the current efforts to increase tractor utilization are detailed, the conclusion reached being that the farmer should be told how to change over from a small and inefficient plant, wherewith human labor is being wasted, to a larger and efficient food-production organization with which he can practise the same principles of quantity production that are prevalent in large manufacture today.


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