What were the advantages and disadvantages of the use of mechanical harvesting machines in the USA?
There were both advantages and disadvantages of the use of mechanical harvesting machine in the USA.
The advantages are as follows :
- Machines ensured more production due to which there was surplus food grains which could be exported thereby increasing farmer’s income.
- The new machines helped in breaking the hard ground with tractors and disk ploughs in clearing vast stretches for wheat cultivation.
- The mechanical reaper invented by Cyrus McCormick could cut in 1 day as much as 5 men could cut with cradles and 16 men with sickles.
- With one of these machines, 500 acres of wheat could be harvested in 2 weeks.
The disadvantages are as follows :
- Introduction of machines reduced the need for labour leading to unemployment on a large-scale.
- To expand cultivation, tractors had turned the soil over and broken the soil into dust. Over a period of time, overuse turned the whole region into a dust bowl, leading to terrifying dust storms called 'Black Blizzard’ which blinded and choked the people; the animals were suffocated to death.