On farms, the farmer uses machines to help with many of the jobs that have to be done.

A tractor is used to take the farmer to different parts of the farm. The tractor is used to pull other heavy machines.


The tractor pulls a plough that digs to soil to break it up and make it ready for planting seeds.

 A plough digs up the soil to get it ready to take the seeds. © iStock

A plough digs up the soil to get it ready to take the seeds. © iStock

The first ploughs were pulled by horses or oxen. The ploughs were made of wood with a metal blade to cut through the soil.

 Long ago animals were harnessed together and the farmer followed with the plough. ©iStock

Long ago animals were harnessed together and the farmer followed with the plough. ©iStock

After ploughing, the seeds can then be planted by the farmer using  the seed drill. The seed drill plants seeds in rows and covers them over with soil. It also adds fertiliser to the soil to feed the plants and help them grow.
The seed drill is pulled by the tractor too.

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Long ago seeds were planted like this. The picture on the right is of an early seed drill. The first seed drill was invented by Jethro Tull in 1700

After the seeds have grown, the crops have to be harvested. A machine called a combine harvester helps to do this. The harvester cuts the top off the plants and separates the grains of corn, wheat, sunflowers, oats from the plants. Then the  machine loads the grain into a tractor trailer.

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Long ago wheat and other grain crops were cut by farmers and their workers by hand, using a tool with a sharp blade on the end of a long handle The cut plants were then loaded onto wagons and taken away. The grain were separated by hand too. This was called threshing.

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 This is a machine that was used to separate grain from the plants and then stack the hay/straw into a haystack. The machine was powered by a steam engine. You can see a man carrying a sack of grain away ©iStock

This is a machine that was used to separate grain from the plants and then stack the hay/straw into a haystack. The machine was powered by a steam engine. You can see a man carrying a sack of grain away ©iStock

On a dairy farm, machines are used to take milk from cows. The cows are milked inside a shed. The cows feed while the machine is attached to the cows' teats and the milk gently sucked out.  Goats are milked in a similar way.

Before the invention of the milking machine, cows and goats had to be milked by hand.

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The first successful milking machine was invented in 1860. It was operated by the farmer using a lever that sucked the milk from the cow. In 1878 an American woman Anna Baldwin, created the first suction milking machine.

 Anna Baldwin, Inventor of the first successful suction milking machine.© Wikipedia

Anna Baldwin, Inventor of the first successful suction milking machine.© Wikipedia