The farming column with Sam Walton

A home built tractor.
A home built tractor.

There is a saying that necessity is the mother of invention. Having been able to travel extensively, I have seen many good examples of such.

Before the age of really big modern tractors, some farms would probably have needed two tractors plus double the machinery to go with them, to do the same job as one modern one would.

The second hand brewery wagon now used for slurry.

The second hand brewery wagon now used for slurry.

I have a friend in Australia who couldn’t get a big enough tractor for his 8,500 acre spread, to enable him to do the arable work he wanted to do in the allotted time, and had several casual workers, who unfortunately were not always available at peak periods.

So he built a large tractor himself which worked well enough until larger ones became available.

Similarly he wanted a large slurry tanker and couldn’t get one anywhere near big enough, so he bought a former brewery lorry and converted that and the whole thing works well even though it weighs 45 tons when full!

He has for a number of years flown his own plane.

Having sold one of his former ones he decided he would build the next one himself, which he did and it takes him all over the place.

He has designed and installed feed systems into his piggeries, designed large machinery for his now larger tractor and is able to sow the whole of his massive acreage in three weeks!

So it never ceases to amaze me just how entrepreneurial many farmers are.

Over the years they have probably had to be as we used to have a make do and mend mentality when things were bad.

Fortunately we are blessed these days with machinery and livestock systems big enough and efficient enough to cope with most situations on a farm.

There are many inventions on the market to-day which have been invented by farmers, one being Jethro Tull who invented the seed drill.

They are vastly different to-day but needed to be!