Use of farm tractors in Minnesota

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Use of farm tractors in Minnesota
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Nodland, Truman R
Schwantes, Arthur J
Baumann, Ross V
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U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics ( Washington )
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics


in cooperation with

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION


USE OF FARM TRACTORS IN MINNESOTA


I

U S. DEP O -IT -

US DEPOSITORy I


F










By Truman R. Nodland and A. J. Schwantes, University of Minnesota,
and Ross V. Baumann, Bureau of Agricultural Economics



















Washington, D. C.

November 1940


. .I.
;..


& -1


Plliiiiniillllliiii nini ....^ **iiLwL-jiir-:;^ -^ **










I

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors wish to acknowledge the help a
of Frank T. Hady and George A. Pond in planning
the study, supervising the gathering of the data,
and making suggestions for improving the manu-
script. Sherman E. Johnson, C. W. Crickman, B. R. Il
Hurt of the Burcau of Agricultural Economics,
and S. A. Engene of the Minnesota Agricultural A
Experiment Station made many helpful criticisms
and suggestions.




|
iii
a".i







THE USE OF FARM TRACTORS IN MINNESOTA I/


By Trumnan R. Rodland and A. J. Schwantes, University of LMinnesota,
and Rops V. Baumann, Bureau of Agricultural Economics


CONTENTS
Page
Introduction ........... ..........................*......** *........* ********...* 1
Purpose and extent of study ............................................ 2
Power supply on farns studied ................... ......................... 6
Measuring size and capacity of tractors ............................ 6
Number and size of tractors as...... ....... .. ..................... 6
Total drawbar powvier ............ .... ... ......................... 7
Age of tractors ..... .... .. .... .. ................. ...... ....... t ..... 8
Type of fuel used ................. ...... .. ...................... .... 9
Special equipment and accessories ...................................... 10
Machines used with tractors ............ .............................. 11
Work performed by tractors ........ ....................................... 14
.Annual hours of \ise .................. .............................. 14
Hours of custom work ...................................o ............ .. 15
Type of tractor and annual hours of use ............................ 15
Size of tractors and anriLlal hours of use ............................ 16
Using tractor to full capacity ................................ 17
Operations performed ..................... ................... 18
.Farm hauling .................................... .............. 13
Rates of tractor perfomrnance ..*... .*.. ... 22
Distribution of annual drawbar use.................................. 23
Tractor .and horse practices and operations ............................. 24
Length of work day for tractor and horses ........................... 24
Using tractors a maxinum number of hours a day ..................... 25
Operations. for which tractors or horses are preferred .............. 27
Advantages and disadvantages of tractor operation .................. 29
Reasons for buying a tractor ...................................... 50
Summary and conclusions .... ....................................... 50


SII'TRODUCTICIJ

The place of tractors as a source of iower on '.lin-esota farms is in-
creasing at the rate of 2 or 3 percent a year. In 1958, 40 percent-of the
available drawbar power was in tie form of tractors. 2/ This proportion of
power was provided by 86,288 tractors. ./ In addition 695,000 horses and
mules were used, an average of horses rai one-half tractor per fazrn.


l/ Assistance in the ore-aration of thiesu, nateri-lals a:as furnished by the
personnel of the '-or-k Projects Adrninistratib-, Offici.l Project rjo. 35-1-71-140
Subproject No. 461, Sponsor, Univcrsit-r of !rinnesota.
2/ Assuming tractor drawbEr horsepoweQqr equivalent to 0.6 horse drawbar pow.er.
/ Implement and Tractor, Implement Trade Journal Copanay, Kansas City,
August 6, 1938.







-2
2 -- i

The greatest number of tractors per 100 farms in 1938 were found in
Wabasha, Goodhue, Nicollet, Ramsey, .7atonwan, Lyon, VTilkin, and Kittson
Counties (fig. 1). 4/ Ramsey County had a large number of tractors per 100
farms because of the use of garden tractors in the vicinity of the Twin
Cities. Few tractors were found in the cut-over areas and in counties with
light soils. Much less farm pover is required where self-sufficing agricul-
ture predominates, incomes are low -2nd little cash is available for buying
a tractor or tractor fuel. Abundant pasture and hay make horses a cheap
source of potrer.

The number of tractors per 1,000 acres of land available for crops was
similar in distribution 'fig. 2). Concentration in somine of the southeastern
counties vas relatively high. Land available for crops in these counties
is somewhat small compared with total land in farms, yet a large proportion
of the farmers ownm tractors. The small proportion of total farm land avail-
able for crops and the fact that there are more tractors in the region than
are needed for farm work account for the heavy concentration of tractors in
the northeastern part of the State. Tractors are also used for land clearing,
lumbering, and road work.

PURPOSE AND EXTENT OF STUDY

STo learn the experiences if farmers in the use of various sizes and
types of tractors with the "mniachinery and equipment available on their farms,
581 individual farm-survey records, covering the operations of 709 tractors,
were obtained in 1939 as of April 1. 5/ The locations of the farms from
which records were obtained arc indicated in figure 5. These farms were
typical of -those using tractors in the major type-of-farming areas of
Minnesota.- The number cif ferms and tractors covered in each area are shown
in table 1. VWhere two bor more tractors were used on a fam, a record of the
operations performed by each tractor was obtained. '"

Table 1. Number of farms' and tractors studied and proportion of
all-purpose tract:rs, br areas
____________* ll-urpoe tctrsj y ac_______________ Re
1 Area Red
: SAuth : S-uth : Suth : tcst : River : All
: East 2 Central W West Central Valley Areas
:iumbor Nuribcr Number Number Number Number
Farmas studied : 68 84 161 159 129 581
Tract :,rs studied 79 101 182 157 190 709
:Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent
All-purpose tractors : 56 72 34 86 52 71


4/ Kirk, Paul H., 7tinncsota Crop and Livestock Statistics. Liinnesota
Department of Agriculture :md U.S.D.A., Bur. Agr. Econ.
5/ This is one of two reports on the results of this survey. The other,
prepared by Ross V. Baumaicmn, Truman Nodland, and George A. Pond, is called
"The Tractor and Its Efftcts on Fanning in 4imnnesota." (Processed.)






























































































96 95 94 93 92 91


U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


NEG. 38600 BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS




















SCOA&-STATUVf M'lIS
0 is so1 45 0 -7


0-1.9
2-1.9
a-S.9
4-4.9
a-6.9
6-over


Fig. 2


TRACTORS PER 1,000 ACRES OF LAND

AVAILABLE FOR CROPS


U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE













97 96 95 94 93 92 91 90


Rosa


SCALE -STATrTUre MILES
0 IS SO fS I60 5


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RED

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vmma
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\gee*
sea B
CLAYK

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FiGuRE 3


TYPES-OF-


--443


FARMING AREAS AND LOCATIONS
OF FARMS STUDIED


I I I
87 96 95


U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


3. 93 92 91 90
.U L


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1 me WOODS a ^



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,E R NORTH EAST



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S NORTH CAW

CENTRAL ENR wo r



0 EAST 7r
E __ __ ,-s3rNTRAL Each dot represents
41. f a___ one far


as... 0 MINN. ST. PAUL
METRO.
ul McLXOOPI
*. ~ 11VIL CA^^ [1^*1 |g|"'^
-N EST S f /ff
F ?L^^ CEN.TRAL ,scor

:y,, SOTH CENTRAL EAST


w WESTEI
Ai Ise** so*** I4iH >w <9 ^^
!< -***** ** *** _* l *j~~

: ."A- :* .SOUTH
I W EST___________


41 I--


.4 7


-146


-45


-- 44


431 --


NG,. 3BUT. BUREAU OF AGInCULTURAL IOUNIWICS


A. Or
ME^







-6- -


PO1ER SUPPLY ON FARMS STUDIED

Measuring Size and Capacity of Tractors

The power of a tractor commonly has been expressed by the number of
moldboard-plow bottoas the tractor will handle satisfactorily under average
conditions. A tractor capable of pulling a two-bottom plow is referred
to as a two-plow tractor. This designation is not always precise, because
the power required for a plow may vary considerably. Another disadvantage
is that all moldboard plows are not the same size. Plows with 14- and 16-
inch .,idths predcominate, but 12- and 18-inch widths are also used. Obviously,
other things bein3 equal, ;.ore .ower is required to pull two 16-inch bottoms
than two 14-inch bottorzs.

A more adequate mieth-od of expressing the power of a tractor is by the
horsepower that it develops under controlled conditions. The University of
Nebraska has set up standard procedures for measuring the drawbar and belt
horsepower of tractors. Results of these tests are used as a basis for
assigning to the tractor a highest-permissible rating for drawbar and belt
power, according to the recommendations of the Farm Tractor PRating Code of
the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and the Society of Automotive
Engineers. Most manufacturers now use the highest-permissible rating when
stating the horsepower of their tractors. For drawbar work, the rating does
not exceed 75 percent of the maximum drawbar power which a tractor will develop
at the rate of travel recommended for the ordinary operation of the tractor.

Number and Size of Tractors

In this report, the tractors iave been classified on the basis of their
rated drawbar horsepower. Only the drawbar rating mwas used, for most tractors
ar2 bought primarily for drawbar work. The tractors are classified into groups,
each group having a range of 6.5 horsepower. In Group I are those tractors
with a rating between 5.5 and 11.99 horsepower, in Group II those with a rating
between 12.0 and 18.49 horsepower, in Group III those -with a rating between
18.5 and 24.99 horsepower, and in Group IV those -with a rating between 25.0
and 51.49 horsepower, and so on for succeeding groups.






-7-

S Table 2. Number of tractors on selected 4inriesota farms and their
distribution by-rated drawbax horsepower,4/ by areas
= LArea
Item or drawbar horse- : South : South : South : West : Red
: power group : East : Central : West : Central : River 2/
: Valley

Number of farms studied : 68.. 84 161 139 129
Number of tractors : 79 101 182 157 190
Group I, percent : 46 59 52 59 25
Group II, percent : 46 46 62 53 46
Group III, percent : 4 9 5 7 16
Group IV, percent : 4 6 1 1 10


_/ Group I includes tractors -irith a drawbar rating between 5.5 and 11.90;
Group II, 12.0 and 18.49; Group III, 18.5 and 24.99; Group IV, 25.0 and 51.49.
2/ Besides these groups in this area there were four tractors in Group V and
one in Group VIII. These five tractors are included in the total of 190 for
the area.


Thirty-four percent of all tractors were included in Group I. Most of
the tractors of this group are those commonly spoken of as one-plow tractors,
while those in Group II are of the size commonly knovn as twro-plow tractors.
Over half of all of the tractors were in Group II. The snall tractors were
most prevalent in the South East area where 46 percent of all tractors were
in Group I. The South Central and 'lest Central areas each had 39 percent
in Group I, and in the Red River Valley area only one-fourth of the tractors
were in this group. Large tractors were more preval-nt in the Red River
S Valley where 29 percent had rated drawbar horsepower of 13.5 or .More; however,
in all areas, except the South East, tractors with a rated drawbar horse-
power of between 12.0 and 18.49 were most com.non.

Total Drawb'r Power

The horse equivalent per farm of total available drawbar power vras
about 13.5 in all areas studied except the Red River Valley, where it
amounted to 18.5 (table 5). The average number of horses per farm in
each area and the estimated horse equivalent of tractor drawbar power indi-
cate that horses represent over once-fourth of the available power on these
tractor farms. Of the 581 farmers interviewed, 19 kept no horses, 6 kept
only one horse, 130 two horses, and the other 426 kept three or more. The
largest number of horses reported on a single farm was 18, on a farm of
2,240 acres located in the Red River Valley. Four tractors wore used in
addition to the horses on this ferm.






Ii






-8- -


Table 3. Total available drawbar power per tractor farm studied, by aremaw
S Area

Item :South- : South : South : West :Red RLive
_____:East : Central ": West : Central c Valley

Crop acres per farmn. :151.0 166.0 217.0 261.0 578.0
Work horses per farm : 4,1 4.7 4.1 S.7 4.5
Average tractor-drawbar :
horsepower per farm Ij/ : 15.5 16.6 15.2 15.1 23.7
Average horse equivalent :
of tractor-drawbvr
horsepower 2/ : 9.5 10.0 9.1 9.1 14.2
Total farm dcrawTbar horse-:
power in horse equiva- :
lents : 15.4 14.7 13.2 12.8 18.5
Crop acres per horse*
equivalent 3/ : 11. 11.5 16.4 20.4 20.4


l/ Only tractors used for field "woic included.
2/ Computed by taking 0.6 of the rated drawbar horsepower of tractors
used for field work.
3/ All farm power.


One hundred and twelve farmers, or 19 percent, had more than one
tractor. Fifteen percent of the farmers in the South East area, 21 percent
in the South Central area, 12 percent in the South WVest area, 11 percent
in the ""'st Central area, and 57 percent in the Red River Valley area had
two tractors. Thirteen farmers had as nany as three- tractors. Only three
farmers had four tractors.

o.e of Tractors

Over three-fourths of the tractors on the 581 farms in 1939 lhad been
bought in 1954 or later. In other words, they have been operated four years
or less. Many factors contributed to the recent acquisition of new tractors.
Farm prices had been Iaort favorable since 1935 than for tLie years immediately
before that date. Sleeping sickness cf horses and hot sumn.ers have reduced
horse numbers or decreased their effectiveness. Recent improvements in all-
purpose types, rubber tires, higher speeds, and smaller sizes have extended
the use of tractors. These improvements have made easier the caoplete
mechanization of operations.





STable 4. Distribution of tractors by year of purchase by areas
SArea
: South : South : South : West : Red
Year of Purchase : East : Central : 'est : Central : River
:: ;: :.- Valley
Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent

1933 March 1959 15 18 24 20 26'
1956 1957 : 26 45 48 57 50
1954 1955 9 15 14 19 25
1952 1935 4 5 0 5 5
1950 1951 11. 4 4 5 6
1928 1929 25 7 7 8 5
1926 1927 : 5 2 1 35 5
1925 and before : 6 2 5 2



Approdsnatelj q0 percent of all tractors studied had been bought
new. Little variation was found between areas, in this respect. Th[ree-
fourths of the tractors in the' South East and Rsd River Valley areas were
bought new, 85 percent in the South Central z.:d South West areas, and 81
percent in the -.'est Central area. Fc'irteen cif'ferent mc.k.s of tractors were
reported. One tractor..primarily used for corn cultivating was home-made.

Tyoe of Fuel Used

Most tractors were operated with only one kind of fuel but, whatever
fuel was used, gasoline was always used for starting. One-half of the trac-
tors studied V.'ere operated with gasoline exclusively, t;hil& "one-third were
used with distillate. The other tractors wcre used with gasoline for some

Table 5. -- Distribution of tractors by type of fuel that was used. I/


Type of fuel used


Niumbur of
tractors


Percent of
all tractors


Gasoline exclusively 3554 50
Kerosene exclusively 17 2
Distillate exclusively 2/ 224 52
Gasoline and distillate 6 5 9
Gasoline and kerosene 26 4
Kerosene and distillate 24 5

Total number 708 100


l/ Based on 708 reports
9/ Includes fuels below the
ignition engine.


grade of kerosene that were used in sparlk-


work and kerosene or distillcte for other jobs. Kerosene wras used in very
few.v tractors as the sole fuel.


- 9 -







10 -

Kerosene has been largely replaced by gasoline and distillate"in this
work in recent years because it has been almost as expensive as gasoline in
most communities, and has lower anti-knock qualities. Moreover, distillate
or so-called tractor fuel has been improved to make it more satisfactory and
dependable while its price has been lower than the price of kerosene.

No attempt wrs made in this study to ascertain the number of tractors
with high-compression engines requiring gasoline. Gasoline is used more
efficiently in such engines thn-m in those with lower compression ratios in
which kerosene or distillcte crn be burned. Doubtless, pn appreciable number
of those trcctors for which the use of gasoline only was reported were
equipped with high-comprossion engines.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES

Over ,no-third of the wheel-typo tractors studied had rubber tires on
the rerr wheels. Recent purchrses indicRte thr.t 80 to 90 percent of ell
tractors rre equipped with rubber tiros. This, together with the fact that
framers nre equipping their studl-wheeled tractors with rubber, indicates
thrt rubber tires rro being widely used. Over one-hrlf of the trrotora
studied nrlsn hrd rubber tires on the front wheels. Rubber tires on the
front wheels relieve n cnnsidorrblo propc.rtion of the shock experienced in
operting trrectnrs rnd thoy cid in the steering.

Trblo 6.- Trar.ctnrs equipped with rubber tires by dr-wbrr-hursepower groups.
by rregs s ____
Item or drv.-bnr- :South: South :South : West :Red River
h.rsepc wer group :Enst :Central: West :Centrrl: Vplley
*Number Number Number Number Number
Tr-ctnrs with tires on frint wheels. 38 50 121 87 79
Trrctors with tires on rerr wheels
by size groups.l/
Group I: 14 10 24 9 12
Group II : 19 23 48 27 39
Group III O 3 5 4 9
Group IV 1 1 0 0 3
Totrl Number 34 37 77 40 63
SSee Tablo 2, f.f:..tntu 1, f.'r explrn.-tion of trrctcr size groups.


The group ',f tr; ct.rs ,.f rrted dr'wb.r h'-rsup.wer of between 12.0
mnd 18.49 h'rsep ;v:er c-nt ineod the largest pr-.;porti.rn )f trrct,'rs with
rubber tires. The use if rubber tirJs increases the rm',unt of work e;btrined
from n. given quantity of fuel rnd m-kes possible higher speeds.

Frequently derd weight is rddod t;, the tractor drive wheels to increase
trrcti'-n. One-third -f the rubber-tired trrctfirs hod crst-iron or concrete
devices rttrch',.;d t- the v'he- is, rnd one-third used liquid in the tires.
Frequently, gru ter trrcti'n is btrined in the drr.wbrr work itself, when
the resistance tends t, pull the re-r end -if the tr.ctr t) the gr-und, as
in pl-wing.








11 -

Many accessories ere becoming standard equipment on tractors. The
belt pulley is common on a.ll types, but the power lift and power trko-off
are found to a greater extent on the rll-purpose type. The ell-purposo
tractor is designed .to perform 1.-rgor variety of oporrtions then the
other two typos.
Trble 7.- Prnportin of tractors equipped with belt pulley, powor take-off
and power lift equipment, by types of traLctors

: Type of trnctor


Equipmirent


: All-purpo:se


: Strndard


: urcont


Belt pulley
Power trke-,-ff
Power lift
Number of trrc-irs l/


99
81
16
503


Percent

98
51
2
186


Percent

69
56
13
16


I/ Based on, 705 reports.


The p,,wer lift is especi; lly c',nvoniont for mrny rc'w-crnp operations,
such es c.)rn cultivating and c-'rn planting, for which the strnd-rd and
track-type tractors ere seldom used. Thu p',wer ta-ke--ff is m:)re common
thrn the power lift.

Nine percent nf the trrct-.rs wore equipped with lights fr.r night
work, although nly r limited nir-unt .)f night'A', rk war.s performed. Over one-
hrelf of the tractors with lights wore in the Red River VWilley. Only 3 per-
cent of the tractors htd self str.rtcrs. Ten trvctcrs out of the 709 were
equipped with crbs. Extensi-n rims were used on 14 percent cof the
tractors equipped with steel wheels. The rims in m.'st c,.ses were 6 inches
wide.
TIACHI'ES USED ViTH TRACTORS


Along with the increased use -)f troctnr powor, has c ;ne r trend toward
more end in' re machines that rre designed fr.r use with mechnizod power exclu-
sively. TIry -f these m:i-chirnes can be c.perc.ted only by racens if the power
trk.e-off. Because .-'f this and ,thor features if design, they gunera-lly
crin be used more efficiently with trrct.-'rs than with h:.rses. F',r sc-me
S operrti-ns, it is necessary, ,.r at lost highly desirable, t') hc.ve a
-machine thnt is nrde especi:.lly fcr the trrct.r. This is true f-r plowing
end cultivating. Other cpervti-'ns can be perf.rrmed srtisfnct-lrily with a
trrcter using mechinos designed prinmrily f:.r h'lrsos. Grain binders,
Scorn binders, field cultivatrs, disk hvrr'ws, mnd mowers, nre included in
this grr-up. When D f.rner buys a trrct.-r for the first tine, he nry use
machines designed f'or h',:rses vdth it. Replacoemnts rre usually mrdc with
specially designed tractc.r rLmchines, if the replrcenents rre to be used
exclusively with the trrct.r.


: Trrck


-a.-.




7^


12 -

About half of the disk harrows used with the tractors were designed
for horses. It is evident that most of thumorn weri on hand when the tractor
wEs bought. Very few horse-disks were bought rftor the l-,st tractor wrs
obt.inod. Most of tho disks purohr sod in the lf:st 5 yurrs were those de-
signed fir trnctcrs. The seme tendency holds true f.ir 'ithor oquipmunt, such
rs field cultivrtirs, onrn cultivator:;, corn pinntort, mowers, grin binders,
corn binders, rnd corn pickers. More gri in binders designed fer horses wure
used with trctrrs thrn i ny other mrchino. In'many instances, these inrchines
designed f-ir horses c: n be bought -t r chnsidfet.bly lower price thrn thrse
designed fo.r trAct-,rs ,nd, tis they cmn be used rn'ther efficiently with
tr-ct^rs, rre ifton bought instead of mirchir.r's designed f.-.r tr-.ct'.rs.

The field cultivator requires cinsiderrblo pier -nd trrotrr pcwer is
desirable fPr it. Ninetyr-eight !.f the 127 mr.chines in use were trn.ctnr
machines. About '.-ne-third 'f these vwero equipped with p-wer lifts.

It is evident thrt most farmers wh-' 7:.w tr-'nct'rs consider a cultivrtor
designed f-r i trL-ct.'r prcforablo t.- :.no desigr.ecd'f'r h -rsos. Only 36 r.f the
371 cr.rn cultivctirs in use with tract.,rs wore h-rso cultiv&.t'.,rs. Mz.st :.f
the c,-rn cultivrt.rs v.'erc loss th'nr 5 ycors ,ld. Twoo cultivators designed
for horses h, d been bc ught new -rfter th, l.st tr.rCt-,r purchase. Only 56- :-f
the 335 tractor mnchi, es h".d a p 'vwer lift. Plrntir.g c-'rn with trr.ct.-jrs is
nit c,.mmm in mest f"rms; -nly 41 farmers used tr!'ct-rs for this w-,rk, rnd
nnly 25 ',wnod trfct:r planters.

Abr',ut one fr rm in ton oper: ted on mower with mechnnicrl p-wer.
Sixty-cne percent '.f these mr.chinus were designed f r the tr-ctir. Eighty-
twi percent cf tha trtct'.r m"-wcrs were 'por tued by mc-rns .f the power
trke-'ff.

M-re grr.in binders wore pulled by trr.ct.-,rs thin rany their implement
except plows. Sixty-ninu porcunt rf the grrin bind-rs pulled by tr:.,ctcrs
were h-)rse m.chinrs, f.no-f-.urth if these having becn bought within the lhst
5 years. S:-me farmers vwant binders that can be uporrc tod with either h rso
,r tract r pow.er. Others fcol th: t the r dditi n:.l cost of the p:-wcr. tEke-orjff
is n~t justified. Alth-.ugh svtisfcct'ry wr-k c.n be dine with a trictor rind
r hnrse-drr-vr binder, it is neccssury t.-. use twvo mon-,ino "-n the tractnr e.nd
one -n the binder. '.ith thu p wor tnke-off, c:ne mnrn c: n handle the nutfit
s-tisfactcrily under some c',nditi-,nr.s, n.lth..ugh tn -re preferred, especially
whore the grin is heovy, trnglod, *)r 'f uneven height.

Crrn binders wore pulled by tractors .)n unu-fourth cf the frrms.
Eighty-five percent *.,f these mt.chinec wore h-'rso implemnents. This is
explained by the f, ct thrt mcny f these c. ra binders we-ru *j the farms
before the introductirr. of the tri ctor, rr.d they, bcruse c:f their short
perird .f use arch yvonr nd c'-insquert long life, hrv-e b3e: ndrpted t') trrotor
,.per- ti -,n.
















Table 8.-Horse and tractor implements used with tractors and information on the number of
such machines bought during recent.years


Machines designed for horses


Kind of
imipleiaent


Disk harrow

Field cultivator

Corn cultivator

Corn planter


:Percentage :
of farms :
where
machineie was: Total
: used with
: tractor
Percent iJo.


242

29


2 5 ; Purchased- :
years years Pur- : after last
old : old :chased: tractor :
or : or :second: : :
less: less: hand :Nvew :Used:All:
: o. : No. No. :No. :Nd. :No.:-

5 21 122 6 7 13.

2 4 8 1 1 2


: 87

: 22


*Q4 .


5 4


Machines designed for tractors


a -: -. :
: 2 5 : :: :
:years:years: pur- :WVith
Total : old : old- :chased:power:With
: or or second:take-:power
less; less: hand :off :lift
i',o. 'o. : No. No. No. : No.

262 78 132 .44 .

98 18 27 23 51


s35


166 280


25 10 '14


Mower


Grain binder


: 96


582


2 10

.4 37 1150


1 1 bb i4 24 2 27


24 19 45 175


49 101


22 135


127 1S 27 40 9 7 16 22


'1

a'


9 13 4 22


6.... 2 .-is 2- .


Corn binder : 26





"1


- 14 -


WORK PERFORMED BY TRACTORS

Annual Hours of Use

Many tractors were used about 500 hours during the year, although the
average hours per tractor varied with the type of tractor and the type-of-
fnrming ore" of the Stete. The tractor used in the Red River Valley had
cvorcgo operations of 779 hours, compared with slightly over 500 hours for
tractors in the South Er.st nrer. Approxira.tely 16 percent of the tractors
in ell rrer.s woro used loss thrn 300 hours, and 20 peroont more than 700
hours. Hrlf of the tractors wore used 500 hours or more.

The number of hours G tractor is used during the yerr depends partly
upon the number of tillnble crcres in the fcnm, the amount nf custom work
done, tho number -f trrctcrs on hond, rnd the uvcilcblo labor. Some farmore
retain -Id troctars fnr belt wrk bocr.use of low trrdo-in vclue.

Trblo 9.-Frequency distribution -)f tractors by hnurs that they were operated
during the yerr, by rrurs


H-urs of
'"perctinn


: ESuth
: Er st :


Arca
S-.uth : Snuth test
Contr.l a West a Central


* Red River
a Valley


Percent of tractors


- 99
- 199
- 299
- 399
- 499
- 599
- 699
- 799
- 899
- 999
- 1099
- 1199
r.nd m-re


Annur.l hrurs cf tractor use


Average
Mr ximum
Minimum


0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
1100
1200


515
1092
65


536
1328
41


596
1561
120


657
1591
100


779
1741
40






15 -

Hours of Custom Work

Custom work represented a small proportion of the total tractor work,
although more than 50 percent of the farmers reported some custom work.
Only in the South East end the South Central areas wEs custom work ns much
as 10 percent of total tractor work (table 10.) The operntirs of larger
ferms usually do less custom work than those who operate smc-ll 'nes. Bolt
w')rk constituted a slightly higher percentage of custom work thrn drvwbcr
work, rlth.ugh there was little difference between the two. Belt viark wns
also miro significant in the.southern .reLs than in other p.rts of tho
S Stcto.

Trblo 10.-Njumber ,and pr.np-rtin:n of farmers ropIrting custom tractor wirk -nd
the pr-,prti:)n that custom work v'r.s of trtal. trrctir wr-rk by creas


: Area
SItemuth S-uth : South W est :Red River
: Ea.st : Central : Weest : Central:- Valley

Number of farmers reporting
custom drnwbc.r w-,rk : 57 35 22 36 29
Number of farmers reporting.
custom belt w-rk : 41 46 32 30 27
Percent -if Pll fariaers reporting:
custom work : 56 58 44 52 47
Percent -:f total tr--ct:.r w,'rk :
thct was custom drr-wb.r : 5 4 2 3 3
Percent of total trrctor work :
that wrs custom belt work 8 9 5 4 3
Percent of total trnctzr work :
that wrs custom work : 13 15 7 7 6



Type ':f Trictor nnd Annu,.l H,:urs of Use

All-purpose trnct',rs wore used about 571 hcurs annually, and the
str.ndr.rd fnur-wheel type -.b-,ut 437 hnurs. DrLwbvr w",rk constituted 85
percent of total hours for the all-purpose tractors, nnd 80 percent for the
standard trccttrs. Averr go annual hours of use varied considerably by
vrers for both types of tractors, rlth.1wgh the pr'.p(.rtion that drrwbnr
work was of total work varied but little f.or the nll-purp.osc tr.ct.-rs
(trble 11).


7







16 -

Table 11.-Average annual hours of dravwbar and belt operations performed by
type of trrctnr, end the propnrtino that drawbor work wcs of totcl work,
by nrias


SAreoa
Kind of operation and ________________________
type rf trr.ctor : South: South : South : West s Red River
: Ea.st : Centrtl : West u Ccntr.l t Valley
U
Number of hours
Drawbrr opcrvtins:
Standc.rd trcct.-.rs 234 302 258 303 462
All-purp-se tractors : 377 407 473 590 517

Belt r'porrti- ns:
Stcndcrd trrctc'rs : 85 137 64 86 77
All-purpose tr:-ctnrs 49 80 94 80 68

T-trl opcrrnti'mns:
Standard trrctrs : 319 : 439 322 389 539
All-purpise tractors : 426 487 567 670 585

SPercentage o.f tc.tal operations
thr.t wore drawbar
I.-. U
Strndcrd tr.rctors 73 69 80 78 86
All-purpose tractors : 88 84 83 88 88




Size nf Trcactors Mnd *Arnnurl Hours of Use

Mast of the tr,,ct-.rs hrd r rr ted drrvwbar h-'rsepuwer of loss than
18.49. Thnse in the group of 12 to 18.49 hLrsepnwer prcdominated. The
standard trrctnrs of r rr,-ted drrwbvr h' rsopower of mecre than 18.49 were used
moro h')urs during the yo.r thnn th,)se if less horsepower (table 12). The
rll-purprse troctr.rs Cf between 12 r.nd 18.49 horsepower averaged 516 hours
of drrwb-r wc-rk, -nd the group of between 18.5 and 24.99 h-,rsop.,wer 466 hnuru
-f drrwbr.r wirrk. The f',rmer group rvoraged 96 hours of belt work, compared
with 127 f,'.r the Irtter gr 'up. In contrast, the standard tractor group of
betwoun 18.5 'nd 2A..99 h-rsepuvwer ivcri.ged m-ire hours f-or beth belt md
drrwbir w,.rk th.n did the next gr.'up cf less horsepower.








- 17 -


Table 12. Average annual hours of drawbar, belt, and total work performed
by standard and all-purpose tractors of various drawbar horsepower

: Drawbar horsepower
Type of tractor and Dabrhseo
kindofwork 5.5 : 12.0- : 18.5- : 25.0
1.99 : 18,49 24.99 : 51.49

Standard:
Drawbar hours : 331 521 400 399
Belt hours 50 85 141 141
Total hours : 581 406 541 540

All-purpose:
Drawbar hours : 463 516 466 --
Belt hours 51 96 127 --
Total hours 514 612 595 --




There was no significant difference in the amount of belt work as farmed
by small (5.5 11.99 horsepower) standard and all-purpose tractors, but the
all-purpose type was used 465 hours for drawbar purposes as compared with
331 hours for standard tractors.


Using Tractor to Full Capacity

When horses are used for farm work, it is not difficult to adjust the
size of the power unit to the size of the load. If an operation requires
four horses, then four horses can be used. If the operation requires two
horses, then two horses can be used. Farm tractors do not have this flexi-
bility. It is necessary then, insofar as practicable, to adjust the size
of the load to the power of the tractor; and, in most instances, it is economi-
cal to provide a full load for the tractor. This may be done by providing a
machine of the proper size, by using tw/o or more machines at the same time,
or by varying the speed at which the tractor is driven.

For certain operations, like plowing and disking, it is possible and
practicable on most farms to use a machine of such size that the full power
of the tractor is utilized. Fifty-six farmers reported using a combination
of plaa and harrov; 21 a disk and spiktetooth harrovw; 20 springtooth and spike-
tooth harrowv; 17 field cultivator and spiketooth harrow; and 7 a drill and
spiketooth harrcv. Recent tractor models are being operated at faster speeds.
These speeds are a practicable method of increasing the capacity of the trac-
tor within certain limits. Some implements must be redesigned before they
rill do good work at increased speeds. Furthermore, the possibility of greater
machine wear and breakage increases at the higher speeds. Specifically, it
may be said that in doubling the speed of the tractor pulling a plow, the
probable damage resulting from hitting a stone or other obstruction is
increased four times. Such devices as release hitches and slip clutches
reduw thu posRsihij.ities of damage.
C..








-18-

For many operations, such as mowing, hauling and corn planting, it
is not possible to utilize the full power of the tractor ..on the average.
farm. If horses are available, it -ay be mqre economical to perform at
least some of these operations with them. Although the cost per hour of
operating a tractor is not greatly affected by the size .of the. load, it
is somewhat less for a small load than for a large one. 6/ Individual trac-
tors vary in this regard, but an average of a number of tested tractors
showed that for drawbar work a load of 40 percent of the maximum rated
drawbar capacity required 80 percent of the fuel per hour necessary for
operation at full load. In other words, the fuel requirement per unit of
work was twice as great when the tractor was operated at 40 percent
capacity.



Operations Performed

Practically all of the farmers used their tractors for plowing,
this job requiring 167 hours per fanir during the year. The range in hours
by areas was from 120 in the W'est Central area to 266 in the Red River
Valley. Eighty-five percent of the farmers used their tractors for disking.
This varied from 65 percent in the South East area to 99 percent in the
South West area.(See table 15.)

In some cases, farmers do not have enough equipment to permit effec-
tive use of a tractor so they use horses. Corn planting was a tractor
job on only 7 percent of the farrims, and seeding grain was done on only
45 percent. Corn cultivating was done on 64 percent of the fans. Although
mowing was done on only 9 percent of the fanrms, other haying operations were
performed to a greater extent. These included Dulling hayloaders and oper-
ating a sweep rake. The data indicate also that the tractor was used
to operate a corn picker on about one farm in four.



Farm Hauling

Horses were used for approximately 80 percent of the hauling that was
performed on the fans, but only to a very limited extent for hauling on the
highways (table 14). Motortrucks were used for on-the-farm hauling to saoe
extent, being most important in the Red River Volley. Tractors were used
more commonly for on-the-farm hauling in the South East and 'Test Central
areas than in other areas. Trailers wore relatively unimportant for haul-
ing on the fam in all areas.

I


6/ Schrantes, .,. J., "Keep the Tractor Pulling Its Optimum Load," Agricul-
tural Engineering Vol. 15, No. 5, .ay 1934, P. 170.





r,


- 19 -


Table 15. Operations performed by tractors, percentage of far:as reporting each'
operation performed by tractors, and the average hours that tractors were
used for each ..operation per farm in each area

S: Area


Operation


: Sou
: Cent


: Per- Hours:Per-


i::'" i
Drawbar work
Plowing
Disking
Spiketooth harrowing :
Springtooth harrowing :
Field cultivating
Disking and harrowing :
Springtooth and haruw-.
ing
Field cultivating and :
harrowing
SMiscellaneous tillage :
Corn planting
Corn cultivating
Corn harvesting
Field silage cutter :
Corn picking
Seeding grain
SGrain harvesting
Comb. and windrowing
Mowing
SOther saying operations:
Potato operations
SBeet operations
Manure hauling
Miscellaneous drawbar :

Total


: cent


ith : South : 'est : Reo R-vor
,ral : West : Central : Valley
Hours:Per- Hours :Per- Hours-PFor- Hours


cent


122 : 100
52 : 74
25 : 66
21 : 52
8 : 25
7 4

8 5

3: 5
2 2
53: 2
74 : 62
12 : 59
1 2
25 : 58
7 : 12
28 : 86
6 6
3: 1
15 : 20
0 2
0 1
20 : .25
16 : 88

5434


cent


1335 : 100
3355 : 99
25 : 95
16 : 48
11 10
0 1

1 0

3 1
0: 3
0 7
75 : 86
9 : 14
0 1
55 : 54
6 : 355
58 : 96
7 2
0 3
5 6
0 1
1 0
18 : 14
14 : 31

426


cent


120 : 99
72 : 96
45 : 91
19 : 25
4 9
0 1

0 1

0 1
2 4
5: 9
106 : 78
5 : 27
1 0
56 : 31
11 : 62
47 : 94
53: 4
2 : 12
2 : 12
0 1-i
0 0
11 : 23
13 : 81

498


:cent


174 : 100
76 : 71
47 : 85
7 : 45
5 : 40
0 1

0 2

1 2
1 : 18
3: 8
86 : 25
6 : 28
0 5
29 0
29 : 78
60 : 85
6 : 27
4 : 16
10 : 15
0 : 55
0 4
8 9
lA 59

568


elt work
i Silo filling
SThreshing
Corn shredding
Corn shelling
Feed grinding
IWood saving
Miscellaneous belt

S Total


.: Total tractor work


49
52
27
2
41
18
9


15.
51
14
0
17
4
2

81


57
48
26
5
57
55
5


12:
453:
21
2
253
8:
1

110


19
57
1
11
55
52
55


5*
40
5:
5:
50
7
8

98


25
55
1
15
46
51
56


5:
453
1:
5:
15
8
15

88


22
45
1
2
68
55
21


5
55
0
0
18
7
6


515 53 59 -5 7


S South
: East


260
47
44
20
24
0

1

1
18
2
20
7
4
0
62
56
61
6
8
18
4
4
17

684


100
65
T71
57
22
18

19

4
4
4
62
52
2
18
21
81
7
7
57
0
0
18
87


East


556 -


*
596 -


656 :


775






-20-


Table 14. Proportion of farmers reporting on-the-farm hauling with horses,
motortruck, tractor, and trailer, and the proportion of the
on-tho-fanm hauling performed by each

: Area
Item : South : South : South : West : Red Fit
: East : Central : West : Central : Valle
SPurcent Percent Percent Percent Purcant

Farmers reporting on-farm :
hauling vrith:

Horses 97 99 98 94 95
Motortruck : 50 25 1$ 24 47
Tractor : 44 16 25 57 16
Trailer 14 15 5 24 0

Proportion of hauling per-- :
formed with:

Horses : 78 89 90 78 79
Motortruck 8 5 4 8 18
Tractor : 11 3 5 10 3
Trailer : 5 5 1 4 0

Total 100 100 100 100 100



Motortrucks and trailers wore the most important means used by farmers
in off-the-farm hauling. (see table 15.) Tractors, up to the present time,
have beun used but little for hauling on the highways. There is a possibility
that, in the future, more off-the-farm hauling .-ill be done with the newer,
high-speed, rubber-tiredc tractors and trailers. Most farmers who do not own
motortrucks use their own aut6mobilus for light road-iauling and hire a motfor-
truck on the few occasions ths-n theJy :-av.; heavy road-lhc.uiing to do. In most
instances, commercial rotortrucks can be hired at reasonable rates, so unless
a farmer has considerable road-xiauling to do, he cannot a-fford to ovwn a
motortruck in addition to the faniiiy automobile.

Forty percent of the farmers reported that they awn motortrucks. The cme
and one-half ton size of motortruck was most frequent, although nearly one-
h-.lf were of the one ton size or smaller (table 16). More than one-half
of the motortrucks in the Red .River Valley and the South rest areas were
of the one and one-half ton size; but, in the South Ec.st and South Central
areas, there were approximately as many one-half ton motor trucks as there
were one and one-half ton. Much of the hauling in the Red River Valley is
of a heavy type like grain hauling, whereas light operations, such as
cream and milk hauling, are more important in the southern areas. The
rubber-tired tractor is not expected to replace motortrucks for those types
of light and heavy hauling.





I '







- 21 -


Table 15. Proportion of farmers reporting off-the-farm hauling with horses,
motortruck, tractor, miand trailer; and the proportion of the
off-the-farm hauling Derformed by each


Item : South
SEast
: Percent


: South
SCentral :
Percent


Area
South
fe st
Percent


: West : Red River
: Central : Valley
Percent Percent


Farmers reporting off-farm
hauling with:
Horses
Motortruck
Tractor
Trailer

Proportion performed -rith:
Horses
Motortruck
Tractor
Trailer

Total


0
S 65
5
: 35


S 0
65
: 2
55

S 103


0
52
0
48


0
52
0
48

100


9
59
3
5
55



7
58
3
52

10C


4
55
0
66


5
54
0
65

100


15
85
1
4


12
84
1
35

100


Table 16. Number of motortrucks on tractor farms and their distribution
by size, by areas


Item or size group


Farmers reporting motortrucks
Total number of motc trucks
Distribution of motortrucks
by size:

1/2 ton
5/4 ton
1 ton
1-1/2 ton
2 tons or more


SSouth
East
:Ilumber
:23
: d


: South
SCentral
lunjer
538
39


Irea
South
..est
nLmber
44
48


: ,,e st
: Central
lumber
45
45


: Red River
: Valley
Number
81
07


*
*
*
*







-22 -


Rates of Tractor ?erfor.ance

The rate at which field rork if performed by tractors depends, among
other things, unon the size of the trc.ctcr, the size of the machines used,
and the speed at which the tractor is operated. The average acres covered
per hour by some tractor-operated implenents are shown by size .of tractor
in table 17. Group 17 tractors did about twice the amount of work doxd'
by Group I tractors, regardless of the t:e of machine used. In other
words, the proper size of machinee to cbtzin the mcxinum efficiency was used
with the two sizes of tractors. A consiCderable variation in rates of
accomplishment v.as found in Gr 'up II and Group III tractors. ?znny tractors
in Group III were n-i the older type t;hich did not have the higher speeds
and were not used I;ith :iachins of sufficient size LO utilize their full
power at the loier speeds, so the c.ccomplishnment .J.as less for so-ie operations,
especially in disking and harrowing.



Table 17. Average acres covered -er hour by different tractor-operated
implements, by size of tractor

Operation :Size of tractor I/
:_Group I : Group II : Group III : Group IV
Hours Hours Hours Hours

Plowing 0.9 I.I 1.3 1.8
Disking 5 .2 4.2 4.1 6.9
Harrowing 7.5 8.9 8.2 13.4
Springtoothing 2.8 5.5 3.6 4.1
Field cultivating 2.7 5.2 3.4 5.5


I/ See footnote-tabl 2 for group rating. -



The average rates of perfon-ance of otner tractor-operated machines
are shown in table 18. In theme o-.erations, little variation of rate of
accomplishment occurred regardless of th'e size cf the tractor used, although
some difference was noted between the rates of accomirlisb.ierit of horse
and tractor machines. !%3rse machineses designed to perform these operations
are usually built for a slight -ojer rate of oocration than are tractor
machines. Usually, when larger machiness arc 'sed, pro-nortionally larger
amounts of work are not accoox)'-is'i;ed. for c xannle, in cutting corn, 1.1
acres per hour are cut with a single-ro7:' binder but oniv 1.7 acres per
hour with a two-row binder.








,^ / .. :





Table 18. Rates of accomplishment of tractors when used with different
implements


Operation


Size of implement


Average acres
per hour


Seeding grain






Grain harvesting


Corn planting


Corn cultivating


8 foot grain drill
9 foot grain drill
10 foot grain drill
11 foot grain drill
12 foot grain drill
14 foot grain drill


7 foot
8 foot
9 foot
10 foot

2 row
4 row

2 row
2 row

1 row
1 row
2 rowv

1 ro;
2 rowv

1 row
2 rrow


Cutting corn


Picking corn


Potato planting


horse binder
horse binder
tractor binder
tractor binder

planter
planter

horse cultivator
tractor cultivator


horse binder
tractor binder
tractor binder

corn picker
corn picker

planter
planter


Distribution of Annual Drawbar Use

The distribution of the total annual drawbar hours among various
operations varied from area to area (table 19). Plowing accounted for the
greater proportion of the total drawbar hours. Corn cultivating accounted
for about 14 percent on a.ll far;:s, but constituted as much as 21 percent of
all drawbar work in the Souuh ";est area. Corn cultivating, as *v;ell as other
operations related to corn production, was s..all proportion of the total
drawbar work done in the Red River Valley. Tillage operations .ake up a large
share of the drawbar work, about 33 percent of the total.


2.2
2.5
3.1
3.6
4.3
5.3

1.9
2.1
2.2
3.0

2.0
3.9

2.3
2.3

0.9
1.1
1.7

0.8
1.6

0.9
1.3


- 25 -







- 24 -


Table 19. Proportion of the annual drawbar hours spent in the performance
of various operations by areas

: _Area
Operation : South : South : South : West : Red River
: .,_-East : Central : W_..t : Central Valley
: Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent

Plowing 28 51 24 51 59
Disking 7 8 14 15 7
Other tillage 17 15 14 10 16
Cultivating corn 17 18 21 15 5
Cutting corn 5 2 1 1 1
Picking corn 5 8 7 5 -
Seeding grain 2 1 2 5 9
Grain harvesting 6 9 9 11 8
Combining grain 1 2 1 1 9
Haying 4 1 1 2 2
Hauling manure 5 4 2 1 1
Other _5 35 4 5 5

All operations : 100 100 100 100 100





TRACTOR A:.D :ORSE PRACTICES AND OPERATIONS

Length of Work Day for Tractors and Horses


The vwork day the number of hours worked per day averaged approcL-
mately one-half hour longer when tractors were used than when horses were
used (see table 20). Between 50 and 60 percent of the farmers in the areas
outside of the Red Tliver Valley worked the same number of hours per day iuith
tractors or horses. This is probably because they have certain chores that
must be started c.t definite time of the day if they are to be done
successfully. In the Rod River Valley, only about one-third of thie farmers
worked the sane number of hours with the tractor as Trith horses. Another
one-third worked an average of two hours longer -ith tractors than with
horsus.










ti









- 25 -


Table 20. Number of hours per day that horses and tractors were worked on
tractor farms, by areas

Area
Item :South : South :South : West :Red River
: East :Central : West :Central : Valley



Tractor work day, average hours 8.9 9.0 9.2 9.5 10.7
Tractor work day, maximum hours : 12.9 15.0 12.9 14.1 15.4
Horse work day, average hours 8.5 8.4 8.9 8.8 9.4
Horse work day, maximum hours : 8.7 9.1 9.9 10.2 10.15
Percent of farms where tractor
day was shorter than horse day : 8.8 6.1 16.3 6.9 5.0
Percent of farms where tractor
day was same as horse day 53.8 57.3 51.9 54.6 32.0
Percent of farms on which tractor
day was longer than horse day : 32.4 36.6 31.8 33.5 64.0
One hour longer : 14.7 14.6 15.0 14.6 20.8
Two hours longer : 14.7 14.6 13.7 16.2 29.6
Three hoars longer : 1.5 2.5 1.9 3.1 7.2
Four hours or more : 1.5 4.9 1.2 4.6 6.4


Using Tractors a Miaximum Number of hours a Day


One hundred iand seventy farxiers o,.erZted their tractors during particu-
lar periods in a wa;T that penrzitted t.ae. ro 'er'or..i the .iaximu-n number of
hours of field work within a limited ti:ne (see table 21). Eighty farmers
accomplished this th-rough kecopinr the tractor at work during the noon hour
by substituting some person for the regular operator. Other farms reported
changing operators ti.o and three tires a day. In some instances, children
operated tractors after school hours. A variety of operations plowing,
disking, cultivating, harrowing, seeding, and harvesting -- were performed
by these methods. Of these operations, plowing was reported most frequently,
followed in order by disking and cultivating.








- 26 -


Table 21. Number of methods used by farmers for operatir.g tractors a
maximum number of hours a day, frequency that methods were
reported, and the operastiors performed, with the frequency
that they were reported, by aroas
"_ P e a _-- -
Methods and operations : South : SonuTh south : West : Red River
:East : Central : West : Central : Valley
: Number Number Number Number Number

Methods:

Relieve regular oper-
ator at meal tiae : 10 9 20 27 14
Change operator tywo
times a day 6 12 12 15 11
Operate tractor day
and night 2 5 15
Change operator three
times a day : 4 1 1
Children help after school: 2 1 1

Total : 22 26 33 48 41


Operations:

Ploing : 15 18 22 50 50
Disking : 9 11 8 .10 9
Cultivating corn 3 10 17 8 2
Grain liarvesting : 1 7 12 12 5
Harrowing 5 8 2 8 8
Seeding 1 1 11 6
Spr-inctoothing 3 5 1 2 7
Field cultivating : 1 2 10
Other 1 5

Total : 58 59 65 82 82



Night work w;as not imp ortant in nost areas. In the Rod River Valley,
hovrever, 20 percent of tlit iar;..ers used t,-c.ir tractors at night sometime
during the year. In most inst&.ncLs, night v;:ork covered a period of only
three or four nights during some rush period. Fifty-two operators in all
areas used tractors at :-ight for an average of 38 hours during the year.
A number of night operations w;ore reported. Pla.:ing w;as perfonred most
frequently at night, althou-h field cultivating, grain seeding, grain har-
vesting, and corn picking wVLre done to soane extent. Sone difficulty was
encountered in getting adequate light for night operations, and a fw farmers
reported night -work to be more fatiguing than day. work.







- 27 -


Operations "or which Tractors or Horses
Are Preferred
Because there were horses on all but 19 of the farms, most farmers
were able to choose between horses and a tractor for the various farm
operations. Farmers were asked to designate the operations that they
preferred to perform with horses and those for which they preferred tractors,
With their reasons for the preference.

Table 22. Operations that farmers preferred to perform with horses, the
number of farmers reporting each preference, and the proportion
that these farmers were of all farmers


Operations Farmers reporting preference

-- -. Number Percent

Haying 244 42
Planting corn 145 25
Hauling manure 105 18
Seeding grain : 74 15
Spiketoothing 56 6
Cultivating corn 355 6
Cutting corn 16 3




Horses were preferred for mary of the lighter jobs on the farm,
particularly haying and plantin, corn (table 22). Seventeen percent
considered horses a cheaper source of power than tractors for all opera-
tions (table 25). Some thought horses were more practical or more con-
venient in farm work. Other farmers preferred horses, because horse
equipment was on the farm and they vris3hed to wear it out.

Table 25. Reasons given by farmers for preferring horses for farm work,
the number of farmers reporting each reason, and the proportion
that these farmers were of all farmers

Reasons Farmers reporting preference ____
Number Percent

Cheaper 99 17
Has horse equipment : 94 16
More practical 83 14
Easier 77 15
Do better and more accurate work: 47 8
Has horses : 45 7
Do not pack soil 22 4




V









Nearly 40 percent of the operators in the South East area, 18 percent
in the South Central area, 14 percent in the South rest area, 17 percent in
the lest Central area, and 16 percent in the Red River Valley preferred tra&-
tors for all operations. This indicates that farmers think horses still have
a place on their far.as. Tractors wore preferred definitely for the heavier
work and, to a limited extent, for lighter farm work like corn planting, harrow-
ing, seeding grain, cultivating corn, and haying (table 24). Many of these
operations have only recently booeen performed by tra'-ctors to any extent.





Table 24. Number 2.nd percentage of fLrnmrs expressing thtir preference for
tractors for selected operations I/

Operations Farrmers reporting -prdeference
Number Percent

Plowing 495 95
Disking 5367 69
Harvesting grain 556 67
Corn cultivating 277 52
Spiketooth harrowing 244 46
Soringtooth harrowing 224 42
Seeding grain 199 58
Field cultivating 192 56-
Cutting corn 180 54
Hauling manure 155 29
HaLing 149 28
Corn picking 145 27
Corn planting 128 24


l/ Based on reports from 550 farms.




Sixty percent of the farmers indicLcd tltt they thought the tractor
was faster and could be used for longer hours. T'.'mnty-ninu percent felt
that the tractor T.as rnorv convenient, and ':-jthcr 21 perc-tnt said that they
preferred the tractor because hcat and flies did not affect it (table 25).






- 29 -


Table 25. Reasons given by farmers for preferring tractors for farm work
and the proportion of the far1iers reporting each reason 1/


Reasons Farmers reporting preference

I u mber Percent

Faster and longer hours 317 60
More convenient 155 29
Heat and flies do not affect
tractor 112 21
Too hard on horses 853 16
Easier and more pleasant 33 16
Labor saving 69 13
: "


_/ Based on reports from 550 farms.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Tractor Operation

The opinions of tractor owners with respect to the advantages and dis-
advantages of tractor operation are given in table 26. The fact that tractors
can travel at faster speeds than horses wv;as uppermost in the minds of those
favoring tractors. Other important advantages were more efficient and
economical operation, freedom from the effects of heat and flies, suitability
for plowing, and saving in i.ian labor.

Few disadvantages were reported. The cashi outlay that is necessary to
supply fuel and repa-rs, hoviever, was often given as a disadvantage. This
is a definite disadvantage during periods of low prices for farm products
when farmers have diffic.Jlty in obtaining cash v.ith which to buy fuel and
supplies for the tractor. The tractor Is also at a disadvantage in wet and
soft ground. A team of i.orses c?.w' oft-.. bo used on land where a tractor
will nire dovm. Another disadvnt-'-.-, 'f tr.ctor operation is the Dacking
of the soil. In some areas the trcclkr -ide by tractors in the soft ground
lead to soil erosion.

Table 26. Advantages and disadvantages of tractor operation given by
fanders and the number of farmers reporting each


Advantage s


: Farmers
:reporting
: Number


Disadvantages : Fanmers
... .. : reporting
SNumber


Speed of operation
Economicc.al operation
Freedom from effect of
heat and flies
Suitability for plowing
Saving of man labor
Convenience
Weed control
Belt work available


591
90


: -b
S 11


Cash outlay necessary
Wet and soft ground
Packl:s the soil
Hard on operator
Expensive equipment
necessary
Dangerous to operate
Temporary breakdoavms
Indivisible power


179
46
1is
7

7
5
5
2


I;








- 50 -


Peasons for Pupnd a Tractor

Several reasons for buyrinc a trnctor wire reported by tractor owners.
Over 25 percent s5id they could operate their firms rore efficiently with
tractors thr.n ..ith h rsos ,tabl.e 2-?7). Others had bought tractors because
they liad enlarged their fans or because they found it necessary to h;-%e
more power. Many farmers ooug-.t tractors to do the heavy field work, while
others bought tractor, primarily to Let pov;er for bolt work. During the last
fe" years, sleeping sickness has caused the death of !nany horses in Minnesota.
Some farmers vw.o lost th'ir horses replace them with tractors.

Table 27. Reasons given by farnerE for preferring tractors for farm work
and the nvnmber of farmers reporting each reason


Reasons


More efficient than horses
Had to have more power
Do heavy work
Cut expenses and labor
Belt work
Sleeping sickness among horses
Heat and flies
Son wanted tractor
JMakes work easier
Difficulty securing labor
Better weced control
Impress neighbors
High price of horses
Good trade-in value
Dislik-es horses


Farmers reporting
Number
152
127
125
64
58
55
24
22
21
20
16
15
12
9
9


SlU.AAELY AJTD CONCLUSIONS


ApprwcLdzatcly 40 percent )f the drawbar horsepower available on
Minnesota farms was furnishicd by tractors in 1933.

Most tractors in use had been bought sinca 1J34, aid the largest
number were bought in 1933 and 1957. One-hilf of thLe tractors used gaso-
line exclusively, and about .35 percent uced distillate. Kerosene has been
largely replaced by gasoline and distillate in recent years. Distillate and
prepared tractor fuel have been improved in quality, ?nd their use is
more satisfactory and they are found to be more dependable. Half of the
tractors were used 500 hours or more per year; 1I percent were used less than
300 hours. The all-purpose tractors were used an average of 571 hours, while
the standard tractors were used about 440 hours. Eighty-five percent of the
hours of use was drawbar v-ork for the all-purpose tractors, while 75 percent
was drawbar work for -the standard tractors.








- 51 -


The drawbar rating of the tractors ranged from about 6 horsepower to
61 horsepower. Tractors of 12 to 13 horsepower predominated. The farmers
with 12 to 18 horsopaorer tractors averaged the largest number of hours use
per year. The heavier tractors that is, those delivering over 18 horse-
power at the drawbar tended to be used miore hours pur year for belt work
than the lighter tractors.

Although 50 percent of the farms studied reported some custom work, it
amounted to less than 10 percent of all tractor w-ork.

Horses were used for about 80 percent of uhe on-farn nauling, but
were of minor importance for off-farm hauling. Tractors were seldo.n used
in either case, but ith newer, high-speed, ribber-tired tractors and trailers
it is possible that more of the farm hauling ,rill be done by tractors in the
future. About 60 percent of the far-as had motortrucks. About 60 percent
of the off-farm hauling was performed by motortrucks. Trailers were used
for over one-third of such hauling.

Corn cultivating was done with tractors on about 65 percent of the
farms. Grain seeding was done on about 45 percent of the farms, and grain
harvesting on 90 percent. This was in addition to thle heavy wcrk like
plowing, disking, field cultivating, and harrowing, in which the tractor has
its greatest advantage.

Farmers preferred horses for light work like haying, planting corn,
and hauling rannure. Tractors were preferred for heavy work, especially plow-
ing, disking, and spring tojthing. Tractors are being used more and more
for light jobs like corn planting, cultivating, and seeding. The all-
purpose tractor probably is responsible in a lcrge part for this trend.
The tractor work-day averaged about one-half hour longer than the horse work-
day. About 50 percent of the farmers reported tractor work in shifts, thus
using the tractor to the maximum during urgent p.Driods. Night work did not
appear to be cor oen.

Farmers considered the cr.sh oatlc. necessary tc obtr.in -nd operate a
tractor as its major disadvantage, 3s .ec.aly if the farmers Lre getting
low prices for farm )ruducts. n. 'uch larger number considered tne, chief
advantage of the tractor to be its abundant poaer and capacity. The
increased flexibility and adaptability fur many tasks has d-ne much to vin
a place for the trzct.,r in farm ijurk.


























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