Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 26
During the second half of the nineteenth century, the production of food and feed crops
in the United States rose at an extraordinarily rapid rate.Com production increased by four
and a half times, hay by five times, oats and wheat by seven times. The most crucial factor
behind this phenomenal upsurge in productivity was the widespread adoption of
(5) labor-saving machinery by northern farmers. By 1850 horse-drawn reaping machines that
cut grain were being introduced into the major grain-growing regions of the country.
Horse-powered threshing machines to separate the seeds from the plants were already in
general use. However, it was the onset of the Civil War in 1861 that provided the great
stimulus for the mechanization of northern agriculture. With much of the labor force
(10) inducted into the army and with grain prices on the rise, northern farmers rushed to avail
themselves of the new labor-saving equipment. In 1860 there were approximately 80,000
reapers in the country; five years later there were 350,000.
After the close of the war in 1865, machinery became ever more important in northern
agriculture, and improved equipment was continually introduced. By 1880 a self-binding
(15) reaper had been perfected that not only cut the grain, but also gathered the stalks and
bound them with twine. Threshing machines were also being improved and enlarged, and
after 1870 they were increasingly powered by steam engines rather than by horses. Since
steam-powered threshing machines were costly items-running from $ 1,000 to $4,000
– they were usually owned by custom thresher owners who then worked their way from
(20) farm to farm during the harvest season. “Combines” were also coming into use on the
great wheat ranches in California and the Pacific Northwest. These ponderous machines
– sometimes pulled by as many as 40 horses – reaped the grain, threshed it, and bagged
it, all in one simultaneous operation.
The adoption of labor-saving machinery had a profound effect upon the sale of
(25) agricultural operations in the northern states-allowing farmers to increase vastly
their crop acreage. By the end of century, a farmer employing the new machinery
could plant and harvest two and half times as much corn as a farmer had using hand
methods 50 years before.
Reading Comprehension 26
Why southern farms were not as successful as Successful as northern farms
How labor-saving machinery increased crop Production
The increase in the number of people farming
Farming practices before the Civil War
The army needed more grain in order to feed the soldiers.
Machines were needed to replace a disappearing labor force.
It was hoped that harvesting more grain would lower the price of grain.
Technology developed for the war could also the used by farmers.
Many farmers preferred not to use the new machinery.
The use of farm machinery continued to increase.
Returning laborers replaced the use of machinery.
Poor-quality machinery slowed the pace of crop production.
was utilized mainly in California
could perform more than one function
required relatively little power to operate
required two people to operate
farmers did not know how to use the new machines
farmers had no space to keep the machines
the machines were too expensive for every farmer to own
thresher owner had chance to buy the machines before farmers did