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Social Changes In Farming Tells About How It Is Becoming Easier To Farm, But Harder To Make A Living Off Of It.

901 words - 4 pages

Social Change in FarmingMy dad has been associated with farming for his entire life. He took over for my grandpa in 1978 and has owned and operated the farm with my uncle David for 24 years. He now takes care of the hiring of help, financial aspects, and actually doing the work.My dad has noticed some changes in farming over the past years. He has noticed that milk production has almost doubled in dairy cows due to better nutrition and better genetics and crop production has increased by 25% - 50% due to better plant breeding and now genetic modifying of the plants for insect and disease resistance. He has also noticed that machinery and other phases of farming are more technical such as the increased use of computerized components. Computers are now being used for things like keeping records for the cows or for accounting. When my dad was first getting started, a small hand held calculator would cost more than 100 dollars. Now you could by a much better calculator for 5 dollars. Tractors have also become larger with more horsepower. For example, our largest tractor had 110 horsepower and now our largest tractor has 180 horsepower.Some of the more beneficial changes are that the larger machinery allows one person to become more efficient and accomplish more work per hour. With the changes in crops and crop management, an individual farm can now produce more products per acre than before. With advancements in better care for dairy cows and their genetics the cows can now produce more milk per cow so an individual farm can produce similar income with fewer dairy cows.The negatives that my dad saw of the changes in farming were most economical. With larger equipment comes an increased cost. With many farms, producing more products per acre increases the supply at times to a point of driving down the price to an unprofitable level. The same is true for milk production. With increased efficiency comes more production and increased supply and depressed prices. The rule of supply and demand definitely hurts the technically advancing farmers, because of their efficiency in producing excess supply and the lack of demand by consumers.My dad believes that a lot of these changes have their root cause in the fact that the United States government has had what is called a "cheap food" policy. They tell farmers to produce more products so they can make more net income as an individual, but as a whole, it increases supply greatly. By doing so, it drives down prices for the consumer. That is a very simplistic look at the problem and it is probably more complex than that....

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