Adapting Agriculture

The history of agriculture dates back millions of years, and its development has been defined by many different cultures and technologies. All the way from pastoral nomadism to vertical farming, agriculture continues to evolve. Statistics show that 1 in 5 jobs are related to agriculture, whether that be dealing with plants, animals, fungi, biofuel, medicinal plants or other products, all are used to help sustain and enhance human life. Therefore, agriculture is a very large topic because it gets down to the basic human necessities in life, for example, water, food, fuel, and medicine. However, in the whirlwind of the world’s more important political and environmental issues like terrorism and finding alternative energy, agriculture can be largely overlooked.

This present decade is coming out with some of the largest most complex agricultural equipment and methods ever seen. Some are even referring to it as “The Precision Agricultural Revolution”. The autonomous tractor seen at the Husker Harvest days convention in Nebraska, is a perfect example of how far agriculture has come in the world. The tractor is completely built to run independently without requiring a driver or implement operator, the machine is told what to do purely from the control of an iPad. Thus leaving more time for farmers to be operating other machines, repairing other equipment, or doing other tasks necessary for the progression of their farm.

The images of the older photography are great examples of the worlds humble beginnings of how agriculture started out. It is important to compare old and modern equipment so that we can get the sense of accomplishment and historical knowledge of the evolution of our agricultural methods and equipment.

The principal objective of this comparison is to show the world how far agricultural technology, methods, and equipment has come. From the use of horse draw plows to the autonomous hands free farming beast, technology has advanced agriculture, in turn enhancing human life and the way we know it. This project consists of approximately 20 photos of modern agricultural equipment, methods, and technologies. With each modern image there is a vintage photograph after it in order to compare the present to the past. Each photo includes a small text describing the equipment or methodology being used in the picture. The project ends after an old photograph is compared to the autonomous tractor, so that the audience leaves with a thoughtful and intrigued attitude towards agriculture and its technology.

Through the photographic technique of using the vectors of the barn, to guide the viewers eye, the New Holland hay bailer equipment is revealed. Along with this the photographic element of a filter is also used to give the audience the sensation of ‘newness’. The hay bailer seen in the picture is the top of the line equipment allowing farmers to bail hundreds of bails a day.
The picture seen here is of a horse draw hay bailer. This image is from the late 1800’s showing the day to day life of farm hands and the equipment they use. After looking at the previous image of a modern hay bailer the viewer gets the idea of how far agriculture has come and how it continues to advance.
In this image the viewer sees a modern day peanut combine. This combine picks up the peanuts from the ground and separates the nut from the hay. These machines can do dozens of acres a day. The image is taken from somewhat of a distance to show the viewer the size of these machines.
By using a filter on the photograph and an oblique angle, the viewer is able to realize the actual size and modernity of the tractor. This image just goes to show how advanced agricultural technology is getting, the Case IH 315 is one of the larger choices of tractors that Case has to offer, making all kinds of farming possible.
This image taken from the USDA history collection shows a farmer and his crop in the background. This image is taken from a frontal view as to show the viewer that it is only him and his two bare hands to do the work. Seen in the background is mounds of peanut hay waiting to be taken away.
The oblique angle of this picture is what makes capturing this photo possible due to the size of the fleet. And in that matter, the oblique angle and size of the fleet is what makes this image significant. Where once families and businesses could only farm several dozens of acres, now thousands of acres are capable of being farmed due to updating agricultural technology.
This picture was taken at close up to show the head unit of an Autopilot steering system for a tractor. Units costing upward of $24,000 the picture doesn’t do it justice. This just goes to show how agriculture has changed over the years and continues to advance in 2016.
This photograph taken from the Hulton Archive shows a vintage tractor and its implement. In this image, the audience gets to see a vintage tractor which seen after other pictures of newer tractors and equipment helps to prove to the viewers that ag technology is advancing rapidly in 2016.
By using the vectors of the barn to guide the eye, the Case IH spray rig is revealed. With an 800 gallon chemical tank and a boom width of 100 feet, fertilizing fields has never been so easy. The Case IH spray rig is the leading innovation in utilizing chemicals in agriculture for the present decade.
This image is of the comparison between the 1974 Roanoke peanut combine and the modern day Amadas Magnum combine. The juxtaposition of the two machines shows just how far we have come in the last half century, with larger and faster equipment.
This picture by Kirk Mullen was taken in 1809. The image shows slaves digging and picking up peanuts by hand. In the background you can see the mounds of peanut vines that have already been picked, a process like this would take weeks even with several teams of people.
Seen at the Husker Harvest convention in Nebraska, Case IH debuted its first autonomous tractor in August of 2016. The oblique angle of the photo helps show the true magnitude of the autonomous tractor which is now the latest and greatest precision farm equipment in history. 2016 is going to be a year to remember for agricultural technology.