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Hand labor, tractor labor and horse labor: a question of power and scale

"To understand why we farm the way we do today it is important to look back to where our agriculture began and how it changed. From there onward we can look at the question: Why do we farm or why would we want to farm with live horse power in small scale vegetable farming? When we look at hand labor, tractor labor and horse labor as three different power sources,where do horses fit in? From the historical perspective to a present day perspective we can shine new light on having (a) 'four legged employee(s)'."
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Colloquium Draft horses in market gardening

Colloquium Draft horses in market gardening This event is aimed at all persons interested in the use of draft horses in small scale market gardening. Date: 5 September 2015 Place: Farm Albano Moscardo Via Lazzaretto, 98 37133 VERONA (ITALY) For the registration or additional information in Italian, please contact +39 (0) 45 52 78 99 or albano.moscardo@libero.it. For the registration or additional information in German, English or French, please contact +352 691 266 155 or schaffmatpaerd@pt.lu. Further information about the tested machines can be found under www.noieilcavallo.org respectively www.schaffmatpaerd.org.
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Animal Traction and Small-scale farming: A Stellenbosch Case Study

The case study of a farm, where working oxen were introduced " investigated the possibility of animal traction emerging as an affordable, environmentally-friendly and appropriate technology for small-scale farming. The findings showed that oxen were a more cost-effective means of draught power than a tractor, not only in terms of capital costs but also as maintenance and operational costs. The manure from the oxen was both an effective way of supplying crops with essential nutrients and improving soil biodiversity. The introduction of the oxen presented some challenges to the farmer concerning knowledge about how animals work and other managerial challenges, but these were overcome by learning through practice. It was found that the farmer will be able to make significant savings in soil-amendment costs and he can control the quality of the manure to suit his needs. It was concluded that small-scale farmers who choose animal traction over tractors as a means of draught power will realize many advantages in return."
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Utilisation des ânes pour la traction et le labour

The booklet, based partly on former publications by donkey specialists, is meant to inform the user about all facets concerning donkey labour: characteristics and care of the the animal, training, harnessing, hitching and the different uses as pack- or traction-animal, including equipment for agricultural work and transport. Understanding is facilitated by numerous illustrations.
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