Making an Ag-Bag

Making an Ag-Bag

During the ninety years until 1970, land-labor ratios increased in all countries, especially after 1950. These increases reflect the rapid declines in agricultural labor forces as people moved to industry and off the land. The United States, however, had an increase in agricultural land as well as a reduction in the agricultural labor force, so that differences in land-labor ratios between it and other countries increased.

Different crops vary widely, however, in the type of labor required-that is, in their power- and control-intensity. Harvesting of root crops is probably the most power-intensive, although it still requires significan control. At the other extreme, cotton, fruit, and vegetables require intensive control: in the case of apples, the threat of damage is so large that their harvesting has still not been successfully mechanized.

Filling a small ag bag with silage because the corn is too wet to put in the bunks and we are running a little short.

While much remains to be done on small farms in the poorest regions, sufficient progress has been made to accelerate food production in line with population growth (contrary to the Malthusian prediction). In this theme, farm machinery is considered with primary emphasis on engine and motor driven machines and implements and a lesser emphasis on human or animal powered equipment.

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For smaller, less accessible areas, knapsack sprayers mounted on a persons back and operated by a manually pressurized nozzle are still quite popular and inexpensive. More specialized equipment including high-pressure orchard sprayers, airblast sprayers, electrostatic sprayers, aircraft sprayers and dusters has also been described in Fertilizer Applicators and Plant Protection Equipment (EOLSS on-line, 2002).

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