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Tractor VS. Horses. A number of factors were instrumental in bringing about the transition from horses to tractors as a means of farm power. Not least of these was an outbreak of equine encephalomyelitis in the 1930's when one out of every eight horses died. Farmers felt that replacing horses was a gamble so they turned their eyes toward tractors instead. Machinery manufacturers were also building a smaller motor running at higher speeds, to deliver more power per pound of weight. This was an attractive feature since many farmers had considered the older, heavier tractors objectionable because they packed the land too much. These small tractors seemed to fill the requirements ideally. They were the right size to handle existing four horse equipment thereby eliminating the need to purchase new equipment, and were much more maneuverable than the older more cumbersome tractors. When the farmer considered the acreage that had previously been seeded to feed grain for the horses and which now could produce a marketable crop, the end figure often favoured the low fuel consuming tractor.
al production, which in tum encouraged intensification and diversifica tion of agriculture. On the land around farm villages, where properties were fragmented and small and operational costs were high, intensely cultivated special crops were increasingly grown. On the larger fields further from the village where operational costs were lower, less in tensely cultivated grains continued to be grown. 19
Agricultural reform, however, was not the only aim of the RAS.
Through its activities and through the influence of its quarterly, the RAS also promoted economic co-operation. Instead of accepting their fate, farmers were encouraged to unite, analyze their problems and devise co-operative solutions. The framework and ideology within which this took place was the international co-operative movement.