Excuse me mister, what does your machine do?

We are in to high technology this week dear people. I hear complaints that farming is being absorbed by technological wizards “farming isn’t what it used to be!” I notice that this week even Prince Charles got on his high horse (or tractor) to talk about the disappearance of small farms. But farming has always been forward looking, has always employed advanced technology. Small farms have taken over small holdings and the only way to survive was and is to grow.

The trouble is we moan about the farming technology of today (especially when it trundles along the road at 20 miles an hour ) and we excuse and glorify the technology of yesteryear. But make no mistake about it was technology and represented the cutting edge.

At the beginning of the 20th century people looked with awe and wonder at these technological giants.

So the tractors got bigger and more efficient and I suppose fewer people are able to own them. Bring on the bigger tractors.

And machines that do the work of several smaller machines

Or they just do more of it.

So combine harvesters now have air conditioning. To my way of thinking that is better than a face full of dust. Even I can remember when the driver used to sit outside in the open air, completely masked up in order to avoid choking on the flying chaff and dust.

What we see (briefly) thundering through our fields are really magnificent master-pieces of engineering – more efficient and more healthy.

Let’s parade them, let’s enjoy them and in my case try to guess what it is that they actually do.