Typically, harvesting represents the final stage of crop production at field level and essentially brings the farming season to a close. In many cases, harvesting is the most labor intensive farm operation and not infrequently associated with the drudgery of rural life. The development of machines that could successfully harvest most if not all agricultural crops has been greeted with enthusiasm. And yet challenges remain.
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.