Saturday, March 30, 2013

The story of 7 million missing horses and mules in the 1920's and why it was a good thing for YOU today!!

I have really enjoyed reading some very old published reports on prices and other data from the 1920's and 1930's.

I found this gem in a 1930 report from the Bureau of Labor on the effect the transition from a horse and mule economy to a mechanized one (cars, trucks, farm implements, etc). 

Note the yellow highlighted numbers. During the decade of 1920 to 1930 the number of horses and mules used in cities and on the farm decreased by 7.037 million.  This freed up 18.5 million acres to produce food for human consumption instead of feeding those horses and mules.

For reference, the WHOLE State of South Carolina is 19.26 million acres.  So, in the decade of the 1920's alone there was the equivalent of the state of S.C. put into play food production to feed people rather than to feed  animals.

The usual story is that mechanization, especially on the farm, increased productivity in terms of food production as if the equipment itself produced those higher yields.

At least in the beginning, the fact that agricultural yields did not have to be used to "fuel"  animals and could instead head to market for HUMAN consumption seems to be a better explanation. The supply of food increased and decreased prices---a BIG DEAL!!


Source: HERE
Another great tidbit from this report is the suggestion that mechanization was a BAD thing for farmers AND people in general:


 LOL! I think history has answered that question!

 And this (sorry it is so small---Blogspot really stinks sometimes).  Notice the reasoning on why mechanization will produce negative results for agriculture:



And finally this:
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