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Two large combines working side-by-side to cut a large field of ripe wheat north of Havre, Montana. → Buy a Print or License Photo

Farming, most would say, is a low-tech job. It involves mostly soil, sweat, and seeds. And in many regards that is true. But there are also many tools farmers use, both low tech and high tech.

Arguably the first introduction of high technology into the world of agriculture was when Cyrus McCormick introduced the horse-drawn reaper in 1831. The reaper was a revolutionary innovation for the harvesting of crops and would greatly increase agricultural productivity in the United States and abroad. Some years later the horse would be replaced as the primary implement on the farm with the tractor and then the mechanization of agriculture really took off.

Farm equipment and farm machinery is today integral to the success of agriculture. Combines, which are commonplace on farms throughout Montana, can cost nearly $500,000. Yes, that’s a five with five zeros. Think about that. How much wheat must a farmer harvest in order to pay for that expensive piece of machinery? At roughly 60 bushels of wheat per acre a farmer will need 8771 acres of wheat to break even. And that doesn’t pay for the tractors, and grain carts, etc. and other pieces of farm equipment on farms.

Farm equipment is big business. But there’s something beautiful about farm machinery. Talk to any farmer and ask what their favorite tractor was and they will wax poetic about some obscure model no longer seen in the farm fields of America. Mine was the Massey Ferguson Super 90.

In this my latest installment of 20+ photos I’m including my new gallery of photos of farm equipment. I take a lot of photographs of farm equipment, but if I’m every going to photograph for the likes of John Deere or Case IH I’m going to have to make a lot more, which I plan to do in the years ahead. So be prepared. Please take this moment to enjoy these farm photos of farm equipment and photos of farm machinery. This agricultural photographer enjoys making them and hopefully if you have any farming in your background you will enjoy seeing them.

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