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European countries fell in between, with land in the United Kingdom about twice as abundant as on the continent. These differences in endowments were reflected in massive differences in factor prices. In Japan, a worker had to work nearly 2,000 days to buy a hectare of land, while his counterpart in the United States needed to work only one-tenth of that time.

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This in turn led to increased seasonal and permanent migration, primarily from Eastern India.4 But it also led to the use of more tractors and threshers by Punjab farmers. The combined effect of these developments was a decline in real wages after 1972-73, which brought them closer to the stagnant real wages in the rest of India's agriculture.

 

An example was the mass-produced and low-cost Fordson tractor introduced by Henry Ford in 1916. Soon after the Irish inventor and agricultural engineer, Harry Ferguson, recognized the utility of a greater integration of the tractor with the implements and machines (plows, seeders, agrochemical applicators, harvesters, feeders), which were pulled behind it by a simple drawbar hitch.

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Another interesting development pioneered in France is the robotic approach to harvesting tree fruit like apples and oranges where the mature fruit is selected by machine vision using light reflectance, picked mechanically by the robot and conveyed pneumatically (under vacuum) to a storage pallet. Whether these exciting but expensive technologies can be successfully commercialized remains to be seen. Gantry mechanization (including harvesting) of fruits and vegetables in greenhouses has also been investigated but cost remains a difficult factor to overcome.

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