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"In the 40s and the 50s there wasn't the demand for the size required. You know, we were talking about a three-row corn picker, two-row corn picker, and four bottom plow. So, the horsepower wasn't required. And the farms were much smaller. There wasn't the need to be able to plant 6,000 acres in less than 30 days.
     "And so I think that as the farmers grew bigger – or the farms grew bigger and the requirement to plant quicker and harvest quicker became very evident, the implement companies responded by coming out with eight row corn pickers and eight row combines and so on. A standard tractor of course wouldn't handle it, and then they went to self-propelled.
     "And so it just required that for them to be competitive and to farm, they had to be more efficient. And to be more efficient means bigger and faster equipment. And you know, it's – and you look at the investment in a tractor. My goodness, now it's like driving a home around, you know. I'm just totally amazed that the investment that the farmer has now. A tractor will start maybe at $150,000, a combine at $240,000. And the demands on the farmer to continue to produce more efficiently and not rely upon government plans and government crops, it's just amazing that they can continue to expand."

Don Freeman – Bigger Machines

   

Other Excerpts from Don Freeman’s Interview:

Building a Fallout Shelter
Vietnam
Anti-War Protesters
Swanson's TV Dinners
Green Revolution in Mexico
The Atomic Behlen Building
Importance of the Farm Economy
Government Programs
John F. Kennedy
Agribusiness
Supermarkets
Raising Kids for Export Today