And yet, as Farmer Jeremy explained this morning, his rounds in the upper crop field have still been challenging. Blame it on a tractor.
In the spring, when there was more farm work to complete than Howell Farm's small team of farmers had the manpower to tackle, a tractor helped save some labor by discing the upper crop field. And though the labor saved was significant, it comes at a price. A big tractor weighs many times more than a team of draft horses, and the soil is compacted under the tractor's weight with each pass.
This compaction makes for much harder plowing six months later. Rather than being light and fluffy, the soil is dense and requires more effort to turn over. So some of that saved labor is given back in the end.