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What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

Last post Sat, Mar 27 2010 2:49 by mcfarmer. 102 replies.
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  • Mon, Jun 1 2009 20:52 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

     

    It's gots to be bailing twine without it a farm just wouldn't work it's holding togther almost everything on my farm
    John Kenny
  • Mon, Jun 1 2009 22:37 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Nope. Not twine. Still find myself digging it out of disc bearings, even though we have never baled in the 19 years of owning our current farm. Its an eco disaster. Useful only to hold up "good ole boys" trousers.

    I very much like those spanners with a kind of wrench built into them.

    How about the John Nix Pocketbook?

    Pallets? Expect that will be a similar debate to the TPL!

    Turbocharger? Was invented before the time, but when did they become common on tractors?

    Not for print please.
  • Mon, Jun 1 2009 23:17 In reply to

    • sjk
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

     Thats the reason why we prefered the sisal as it rotted quick though with us it was to id didn't get wrapped around the sheeps feet

    Sam

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
    Groucho Marx
  • Tue, Jun 2 2009 9:26 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    wisefarmer:

    NITROGEN fertilisers

    we can farm without mobile phones,three point linkages,dwarf varieties,nitrogen is what feeds the world !!

     Ah yes, but without semi-dwarf wheat varieties, putting on nitrogen would just cause the wheat to fall over, and what good would that be? Wink
  • Tue, Jun 2 2009 15:08 In reply to

    • motley
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    I will cast my vote here for Norin 12.

    This is the greatest allegory for the past 75 years of farming, this in itself enabled the green revolution and saved millions from starvation. Further it enabled the use of new tools that had been made available to the farmers of the world. Can we imagine a world with out genetics, plant breeding and the yield enhancement enabled by Norin 12?

    There are many other innovations from the last 75 years, the only other one that has improved the lot of mankind to a similar degree is the computer which enabled digital revoultion that we are living through now.

    History will show dwarf wheat to up there with Neolithic agric revolution, the rise of scientific agriculture through Young, Davy and the others. To me the thing demonstrated by this thread is history is about great people in farming, now it is about corporations, and machines. I would categorize the Ferguson work of genius as the greatest machine

    Farming is for us, all.
  • Tue, Jun 2 2009 18:42 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Dear Isabel

    There is no doubt that the greatest farming invention is Harry Ferguson's three point linkage system - in fact I would go so far as to say it is a 'world' invention like the jet engine or penicilin. The trouble is that it so universal now that younger people don't realise what life life was like without it and how much of benefit it really is - it has transformed the use of farm machinery and made it much safer as well. Anything else such as a mobile phone or a quad bike is so far behind as to be nowhere in the reckoning.

    Alec Collins 

     

  • Tue, Jun 2 2009 21:14 In reply to

    • AllyR
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    As Tesla mentioned Pallets gave a great handling system. As do potato boxes.

    Bale wrap is another; perhaps reduced the need for baler twine a bit.

    What about Fungicides without which todays yields would not be achieved.

    Irrigation systems?

    Has the Q - cab been mentioned (circa 1985) gave us quiet and dust free tractor driving.

    I am still for the Harry Ferguson 3 point lift, though. - masterpiece.

     

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  • Wed, Jun 3 2009 14:46 In reply to

    • motley
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    besty:

     

    The farmers wife !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I thought you maybe interested in Cato's view http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/history/lecture19/r_19-2.html

    "Instructions for Female Housekeepers

    CXLIII. See that the housekeeper performs all her duties. If the master has given her to you as wife, keep yourself only to her. Make her stand in awe of you. Restrain her from extravagance. She must visit the neighbouring and other women very seldom, and not have them either in the house or in her part of it. She must not go out to meals, or be a gad-about. She must not engage in religious worship herself or get others to engage in it for her without the orders of the master or the mistress; let her remember that the master attends to the devotions for the whole household. She must be neat herself, and keep the farmstead neat and clean. She must clean and tidy the hearth every night before she goes to bed. On the Kalends, Ides, and Nones, ,and whenever a holy day comes, she must hang a garland over the hearth, and on those days pray to the household gods as opportunity offers. She must keep a supply of cooked food on hand for you and the servants. She must keep many hens and have plenty of eggs. She must have a large store of dried pears, sorbs, figs, raisins, sorbs in must, preserved pears and grapes and quinces. She must also keep preserved grapes in grape-pulp and in pots buried in the ground, as well as fresh Praenestine nuts kept in the same way, and Scantian quinces in jars, and other fruits that are usually preserved, as well as wild fruits. All these she must store away diligently every year. She must also know how to grind spelt fine."

    Farming is for us, all.
  • Wed, Jun 3 2009 15:45 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Has to be the Wellington Boot. With increasing amounts of rainfall they're more useful than ever, cant think many people won't own a pair, couldn't live without them!  

  • Wed, Jun 3 2009 20:09 In reply to

    • old mcdonald
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Ah but, Woldsfarmer it is 200 years since the Wellington boot was invented. By Wellington himself no less, hence the name.

    Being in Portugal (and I wear Wellies permanently outdoors, as I always have including in Australia with temps up to 45ºC) I like the story of how they helped to win the Battle of Buçaco. It is quite wet around Buçaco and the story goes that Wellington had our boys fitted out in Wellies to keep their feet dry, whilst the French wore the usual boots. Wellies won the day as we all know, thereby beginning the removal of the French from the Iberian Peninsula. I rather think the assistance of a few hundred Portuguese students from Coimbra University had a lot to do with the result.

    If you ever have the opportunity then have a couple of nights in the Buçaco Palace Hotel and check out the battle site and surroundings. The Hotel's own wines are exceptional, but need a lot of age to reach their peak.

  • Thu, Jun 4 2009 20:47 In reply to

    • flash jacques
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

     

    Not sure which is most important but in animal breeding both AI and embryo transplant technology must come high up on the list.

    Will gene decoding keepm up the progress?

    A bientot,

    JC.

    The future is unwritten
  • Thu, Jun 4 2009 23:00 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    What about the 4wd tractor , Our first one was a Fiat 640 DT(I think it was 1976) , it also gave you brakes going down a hill !!  which meant it was far safer and easier to work on steep ground .

  • Fri, Jun 5 2009 16:12 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

     Begrudgingly I am proposing 'Supermarkets' or more enthusiastically 'Cooperatives' and I know which one I favour!!!!

  • Fri, Jun 5 2009 19:15 In reply to

    • AllyR
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    out on the hill:

    What about the 4wd tractor , Our first one was a Fiat 640 DT(I think it was 1976) , it also gave you brakes going down a hill !!  which meant it was far safer and easier to work on steep ground .

    You've beaten me to it, out on the hill, It is a good candidate. I know that there are some pretty ancient models but as you point out they really came into every day use after the mid 1970's. 4wd greatly increased the output of the tractor without increasing it's size or horse-power, then it gave the traction necessary for the bigger more powerful models which followed. 4wd transformed the front-end loader work and paved the way for greater work output from having a front three point linkage. 

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  • Fri, Jun 5 2009 22:13 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    agree with the 4wd tractor, and the 3pl. it is still essential on our sloping land.

    dont agree with roundup though. it has allowed landlords to "farm" on a big scale without the need for tenant farmers.

    land is now getting seriously impoverished by continuous grain

  • Fri, Jun 5 2009 22:25 In reply to

    • AllyR
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Silage?

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  • Sat, Jun 6 2009 13:14 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    i think silage , along with lots of other suggestions pre date the farmers weekly

  • Sat, Jun 6 2009 14:00 In reply to

    • bonzo
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Extended grazing and New Zealand style grassland management.  This will probably not appeal to many because there is no handware involved!!  But it is the one sure route to profitable dairy farming.  The only person who gets money out of it is you, the dairy farmer.  The one great benefit is that you are not a target for salesmen------ you do not have to buy anything!!  It is simply a system which gives you a great lifestyle and a certain profit from milk.   If you love high yields and therefore low profits, then this is not for you!   The NZ system relies on batch calving, which means calving for 3 months, then mating for 3 months, but never doing both at the same time. Calves are all the same age for rearing and there are only 3 batches of cattle on the farm, milking cows, mating heifers and calves.  Life becomes simple, you can even dry off the whole herd just before Christmas and start calving again in mid-Feb.  Spring calving is preferable because cows can go to grass day and night as they calve and you match milk production to the grass growth curve throughout the year. There no need for buffer feeding or even meal feeding or housing cows in summer!  I believe this is the greatest idea to hit farming in the last 75 years because of the simplicity, lifestyle and certain profit!!!

     

  • Sun, Jun 7 2009 10:04 In reply to

    • AllyR
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    glasshouse:
    i think silage , along with lots of other suggestions pre date the farmers weekly

    You are quite right, Glasshouse. I have just Googled silage to find it was being made in about 1880 !!

     

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  • Mon, Jun 8 2009 15:23 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Tracey Hull has just emailed me saying...

    …baling string. I know quite a few farms that wouldn’t be standing without it - and which farmer doesn’t have some in his pocket?

    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
  • Mon, Jun 8 2009 18:45 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    again i suspect baler twine is older than 1934

  • Tue, Jun 9 2009 13:42 In reply to

    Greatest farming innovation

    The greatest innovaton in farming is the technology within farming. Some people may say that the technical develoment may of changed farming or even runned it. I'm just starting out in farming and all the technical develoments are a good step foward in agriculture because it allows us to be more accurate at the jobs we do and it allow us to do more jobs during a day. If there wasn't the develoments that have happened we may not have the same biodiversity or do jobs as quickly and affifient as they are done today.  

  • Tue, Jun 9 2009 15:27 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    Derek Campbell emailed me this contribution:

    I believe that the best is yet to come, although a large majority does actually exist within everyday farm life.

    As time goes by, farms will wonder how they ever managed without a Satellite GPS system.
     
    The ability to map out your land, prevent overlapping of your application, and improve productivity whilst of course reducing costs, can all be obtained by the latest technology.
     
    Never has it been so easy to purchase a GPS system for a minimal cost and more importantly know how to operate it. Most systems now can even be moved from machine to machine within a matter of minutes.
     
    The accuracy can no longer be discounted. The crops themselves clearly show how much of an advantage GPS can be. The spreading of fertiliser on grass is now made so ridiculously easy that you cant imagine how you ever managed without it.
     
    I can only presume that the future will bring GPS as standard kit in any manufacturers cab and that the technology will of course continue to improve. Certain manufactures are already working on systems that can initiate the headland turn for you.
    Auto steer is already with us, and having already tried this myself, I just cannot correct the tractor in the way that the GPS can. In other words the electronics can drive the tractor more smoothly and accurately than I can.
     
    GPS systems are not just an advantage to the large arable farmer either. Many smaller farms are finding a huge advantage, by simply using the system for spreading fertiliser or spraying.
     
    The initial cost of a GPS system, should certainly be paid back within the first 1 to 2 years, thanks to its efficiency.
     
    However don't tell your granddad that you need a box of tricks to find your way out of the field.
    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
  • Tue, Jun 9 2009 15:35 In reply to

    • sjk
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    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

     I would wait and see what happens about GPS first as I read an article about how the US military GPS satellites were getting on a bit and if they weren't soon replaced they will start failing and falling which would lead to gaps in the coverage.

    Sam

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
    Groucho Marx
  • Tue, Jun 9 2009 19:40 In reply to

    Re: What is the Greatest Farming Innovation of the past 75 years?

    the best farming system is the farmers boot. get out on the land and study it.

    computers are useful, but they cant replace the farmers boot.

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