Skip to comments.Farmers across America ditch tractors for oxen in bid to beat rising fuel prices
Posted on 05/15/2011 7:01:59 AM PDT by bkopto
When farmers Danielle and Matt Boerson realised they could no longer afford to run their tractors, they took the bull by the horns - and ditched them for oxen.
Soaring petrol prices had become so high that the couple, who run an 80-acre farm near Madison, Wisconsin, were forced to get rid of their two tractors, hay baler, plough and rotavator.
So they took a course at the agricultural institute in traditional farming techniques.
'It gave me the confidence that, yes, I could do this', Danielle told the Times. 'It just required a lot of concentration and a firm voice.' Their instructor was former peace core volunteer Dick Roosenberg, 64, who learned the trade while working for the UN in West Africa. He took the skills he had honed back to Michigan and set up Tillers International.
At first the company was aimed at helping Third World farmers harvest in the cheapest way possible.
On the side, he also helped historically-themed villages. But his specialist knowledge is now enjoying a new wave of interest with farmers from Wisconsin to Alaska now joining his courses.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Obama is smiling. Somewhere, Karl Marx is smiling.
Lurching toward 3rd world status......how nice.
And we have to learn it from a Brit newspaper
I agree. We are becoming a third world nation. Replacing tractors for Oxen?!! How in the world is that suppose to be a “good” thing? I guess the kids will eventually ride a pony to school instead of a car like their Pop-Pop did when he was a kid (in Indiana during the Depression).
Yield per acre? The country cannot exist on 80 acre hobby farms.
I’m surprised he had a tractor for only an 80 acre farm.
Probably tilled the field using a goat.
Could be financially smart, many folks would gladly pay a lot more for “oxen-tilled” farm produce, no doubt.
Farming with draft animals, while more time consuming, is VERY profitable. Ask the Amish about it.
“We are now five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” — attributed to some treasonous Muslim usurper
Obama and his “green” tsars may be smiling, as are assorted agrarian romantics, Maoists and tree-huggers.
And, while, the torments of the after-life aside, the shades of Pol Pot and Mao might be pleased, I doubt Marx would be. Marx despised rural life, which in his day still involved the use of draft animals, and seems to have mistakenly believed his fundamentally anti-human ideas would lead to an industrialized paradise in which worker-owned mechanized collective farms and factories would produce abundance for all.
My father always enjoyed working our garden with a horse, but he knew better than to try to gow a farm full of tobacco without a tractor.
Animals may be great for smaller farms but America cannot survive trying to use animals for their food crops.
The Amish around here make it ok, but their farms arent that large, and their families are large. Plenty of kids to clean the barns ,feed the animals ,and work the farm.
Animals do not sit around when they aren’t working, they require care. Care every day. They don’t just eat grass, they eat corn and hay and have to be fed all winter.
You won’t see a lot of farmers going out buying oxen.
—they won’t be doing it for long—subsistence agriculture is on great for other people-—
Not really. Actually crops may cost less. Farmers will have to work harder.. It is more work taking care of large draft animals than a tractor.
Let's see how they like our new methods of farming when THEY are the once again feeding themselves on insects and monkey dung.
My gosh. We’re turning into a 3rd world country!
$3,000 for a second hand tractor? Second hand garden tractor yes, or a very, very second hand 40 horse tractor. Otherwise the writer is dreaming.
Sounds very romantic and nostalgic. However, like tractors, critters break down, and as noted are much slower.
Bottom line, if done by choice, go for it. If forced by govt incompetence, not good.
But, but, won't it produce ox-flatulence and kill the ozone, thereby radiating the earth and killing all the farm crops.
Enjoy while PETA get its act together.
LOL, what in hell is new about, the Amish have always farmed that way, a few of them do use old, old, tractors, but not many. They normals use a six up team to plow with, and I have seen them square bail with the same arrangement.
That's Peace Corpse to you, mediot. The British are typically more careful, looks like the disease has spread.
And somewhere, Robespierre is getting his smile on.
This is a total BS article.
Note the by line: "By Daily Mail Reporter"
They didn't want to embarrass the idiot who wrote this by naming him.
As for "Farmers across America...", I'm in North Dakota, and I don't exactly see a stampede to farm 10-15 sections (square miles ~640 acres each) of wheat with oxen.
More overblown dirtworship dreams. This is not a viable alternative to mechanized farming if we are to feed our own, much less a significant portion of the world.
What a load of BS.
What’s the current price of cattle feed?
What’s your Price to Earnings Ratio?
Obama is smiling. Somewhere, Karl Marx is smiling.
Corporate farms will always be mechanized. I don't think this is the topic here.
Yeah, but the Amish know how to do it, have the trained oxen for it and aren’t afraid of hard work.
These two in “Madison” on a 80 acre farm are likely MayDay marchin libs. Their 80 acres will be up for sale soon.
I wonder how many people are doing it seriously, versus a few hobbyists or survivalist types, and the newspaper is trying to pump it up into a movement for the story.
On the other hand with all the rain in Ohio this year, some farmers could use water buffalo to plant their rice crops because they can't get corn or soybeans into the ground yet.
Well, Obastard did promise us we’d not be able to eat the kind of food we want, or as much as we want, and the prestitutes just gushed starry eyed at the magnificence at which he proclaimed mass murder through starvation!
When more farmers get into the groove, watch the bureaucrats go. There will be wads of new government regulations, and watchoxen agencies sprouting up (watchoxen agency is like a watchdog agency). There will be restrictions on oxen feed, how much work they can be made to do in a day, in a week. How much room they get to have when not working. Minimum age for an ox to be put to work. etc...
“Farming with draft animals, while more time consuming, is VERY profitable. Ask the Amish about it.”
And I suppose you save thousands per year by riding your horse to work?
When my drafthorse hobbyist dad asks the local day-labor, carpenter crew, and cabinet shop Amish for horse advice, they say, “Back when we used to farm, we would...”
And “(t)he Amish would seem
especially vulnerable, as their farming methods cannot
generate the return per acre that mechanized farming
can, especially because of the acreage that must be
devoted to forage for horses.”
The Changing Occupational Structure of the
Amish of the Holmes County, Ohio, Settlement
Such a load of bull!
During the depression farmers made their own fuel using gasifiers.
Sounds like a liberal hobby farmer to me.
Marx did not believe in the ideas that he authored. He propaganda was inspired and financed by the elite banksters who launched communism.
Yep, less food production, higher prices. The poor and low middle income will get hungrier and those on welfare will start screaming for more.
I never realized that there were so many FReepers from the city. Because only city people could read this article and believe it. Now, I don’t doubt but what these nitwits in Wisconsin have embarked on their own little save-the-earth-use-oxen experiment, but let’s not get carried away by extrapolating that it’s a widespread trend.
Any ideas where to mount the gps guidance, planter and sprayer monitors? What about auto steer?(as in turning, not castration) :)
True but, they also have lots of kids to help out. How many people now days have more than 2 or 3 kids?
Burlaper, may own word for them.
Iraq grow more modern while the US recedes to the old ways.
We've got to get that communist out of the White House and his fellow communists out of Congress.
I read the Mail Online, pretty much daily. Good coverage of things American.
You are correct, even the Amish seem to stop at 3 or 4; but then I read they only have sex to have children, do not think I believe that one.????
Huh???? I said most people don’t have more than 2 or 3 kids. The Amish usually have large families. So not sure what point your trying to make.
These aren’t people who farm to live. This guy sounds like he farms to be close to mother earth.
I find that hard to believe. A team of ox simply can’t do the same amount of work per time unit, that a tractor can. Plus, oxen down time (sleep, eat, rest, sick) is, of necessity, considerably longer than a tractor downtime (refuel).
Oxen-farming, while nostalgically attractive, will raise costs and create shortages.
Finally his predictions will come true.