When I was very small we had a neighbor who still worked part of his place with a team. I recall him reminiscing with my grandpa one afternoon. He said, "We had a nice life back then, 40 acres was a fair living, we raised most everything we needed, and had a little left to sell. We had time to enjoy life, you could visit with your neighbor over the fence for a few minutes, you had to stop and let the horses blow. Then we got a tractor. And that was nice, because you didn't have to feed it, curry it, and it didn't get tired or pull up lame. But then we needed to farm another 40 to support the tractor, and that's the spiral we've been on ever since. Need to be more efficient, producing more and more for less and less."
I blame frequent exposure to this line of thought in my formative years for my life-long interest in times past.
Paul Harvey used to say, "A farmer is the only person who buys everything at retail prices, but sells his product at wholesale prices."
I was talking to an old man about farming years ago. He said when cultivating with horses, at the end of every round he would stop and give the horses a rest and take a little nap himself. Then he got a tractor and was not able to take a nap after every round. Then he said somebody got the bright idea of putting lights on the tractor and the damn thing could run all night.
After ww2, when dad came home we tried farming with a very good team on my grandfathers place, dad did this on the "GI bill" and I guess I knew even then (I was about 10)that it wouldn't work, times had changed, loved those horses but sure wished for a tractor!
People are still farming and making a living at it.They are called Amish and all you have to do is work hard and get used to living on a lot less! Bud.
A local long time farmer while being interviewed, was asked what he would do if he won the lottery?
After reflecting for a few moments he replied
"I guess I would keep farming until it was all gone"
The best way to make a small fortune in farming is to start with a large one