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Farming is still a significant contribution to our national economy.
A CENTURY AGO, one out of every three US workers worked in agriculture. Today, the number is less than one out of 50. But, in the face of this staggering decline, productivity has increased spectacularly. When early 20th century dairies produced milk by hand, it took two workers 7.5 minutes to milk a single cow. In the modern dairy, a single worker hits a button on a machine. The machine milks 10 cows in 7.5 minutes… less than a minute per cow, no men required.
In the fields, the story is the same…
Back in 1890, producing 100 bushels of wheat required five acres of land. Planting and harvesting required 40-50 hours of labor. The workers used manually powered machines consisting of gang plows, harrows, binders, threshers, and wagons. A century later, thanks mostly to mechanization, producing that same 100 bushels of wheat required just three acres of land. Labour was reduced to three hours. Fossil fuel powered machines like tractors, combines, and trucks replaced the old, manually powered equipment. Then, as the 20th century gave way to the 21st, manufacturers started adding more sophisticated crop-specific technology to their machines. All of these advances – and some of them, like the use of GMOs, hotly debated – were made with an eye towards offering farmers new ways to increase crop yields (how much of a crop a given amount of land can produce). It is the most critical factor for farmers as they work not only to sustain their farms, but also to make them more profitable. Now, something called “prescriptive farming” is becoming commonplace. Sensors in fields are providing machines with real-time data so they can constantly adjust planting and fertilization for the best yields. Soon flying drones will provide farmers with clues about everything from moisture levels and soil content to hideouts for pests. With such technology, farmers are harvesting and growing crops faster and more efficiently than ever. Two years ago, the state of Oregon’s wheat farmers grew 73 million bushels of wheat on 965,000 acres… 100 bushels on every 1.3 acres.
The progress is remarkable…
In the 100 years between 1890 and 1990, the amount of land required to yield 100 bushels of wheat decreased by 40%, from five to three acres. The amount of labour required for the harvest decreased by more than 90%.
But the gains in efficiency didn’t stop…
In just the 25 years since 1990, the land required to grow 100 bushels of wheat has dropped 57%, from three to 1.3 acres. And the amount of true hard labour required is approaching zero. The farm of today is super-efficient. It’s running on sophisticated systems and machines, and growing “smart” crops.
And a company with some amazing developments to help farmers and ranchers is Healthy Farms. Crops are still fighting pests and viruses a well as having to survive with less water. “Inputs” to achieve a great crop is increasing in price, making a profit or non profit farm less a difference.
The Healthy Farms Perfect Soil System substantially reduces inputs, grows stronger, healthier, more abundant crops that can withstand “shock” such as hotter days, drought conditions and onslaughts of pests.
Healthy Farms Manure Management System (and the perfect Soil System) are 100% certified organic products that are the result of decades of research into chemistry and organic structures. The Manure Management System quickly turns manure into fertilizer, reducing heavy metals, eliminating harmful pathogens, eliminating smells, flying pests and rodent infestations.
The Manure Management System also quickly cleans pig pen holding tanks, cleans settling ponds of sludge and harmful pathogens, and can remediate soil and water, removing heavy metals, pesticide and herbicide buildup and cleaning the farms and ranches in a very affordable way.
Most people don’t know how to make their money work for them. Qualified financial planners can help a young family be financially secure, help pensioners make the most of the RRSPs or annuities and investments or help a business with business succession or group benefits. Life insurance takes away the stress of providing for the family if something happens. Life insurance also helps estates with taxes and capital gains. Mortgages can be tricky – there is more to a mortgage than just the rate. A qualified financial planner can help.