Comparison of Farming population

Gale asked:-

Hi Sven:

I looked at the map of the 1870 census (9th) drawn in 1872. When you look
current day maps, some populations have grown so much my brain has trouble
understanding. On the other hand the area I grew up in western Iowa had
people per square mile in 2001. The remainder of German decendents are
using 4
to 8 wheeled 300 to 500 horsepower tractors which would have frightened many
of the Generals of the past. The result is that my home town had a
population of
942 in 1960 and it was 839 in 2001. Has mechanization affected the farms
Germany that way?
Gale B�sche :
Formerly Crawford County Iowa
Grandfather and others who settled in Crawford County are from Anderten Amt
Hoya in the KOH

Your question interested me as I have been following farming families in
England - My grandmother Edith Sophia Flemme married into generations of
Norfolk, England, farming labour and my husband studied at an Agriculture
college, and was from farmers in Suffolk, England. I believe responses from
Germany will echo the experiences of the U.K. The U.S.A. is so large it
still has fields stretching to the horizon, whereas on this side of the 'big
pond', fields are more like 'handkerchiefs'. The 1871 census showed sons
had moved away from the farms following the industrial revolution which
Europe was experiencing, new technologies in factories and even new designs
of fishing boats. The new railway lines were in demand sending fish inland
where ordinary people were for the first time eating saltwater fish which
was once the province of the rich or the coastal population. In the 1950's,
due to years of farms growing smaller by being split among sons when their
father died, the authorities introduced a law which introduced a minimum
acreage, which stopped the loss of food producing land. In those days you
could still see horse drawn ploughs, but many farms joined together to buy
the newly designed 'combined harvester'. You may be interested to know that
from Spring to Harvest time there was movement of farmhands - e.g. for
centuries men from Ireland 'did the rounds', living in the barns, and went
home to their families in winter, nowadays it is college students taking a
'gap' year who pick crops on the land. The 2001 British village population
on paper looks like yours, however, the cottages are too expensive for the
local villagers to buy, they are owned by company executives for use as
'holiday homes'. Where a small farm employed 20 full time workers, the
farmer will now only employ one more with family and neighbours helping out
when needed. To stop the land eroding and to keep the wild-life, we have
kept our hawthorn hedges, which need 'layering' each year - If you are in
the vicinity of 'Highgrove House' you will even see Prince Charles layering
his hedgerows - he's very good at it.