The equipment used for the post-harvest treatment and preservation of durable and perishable produce includes cleaners, sorters and graders, fans (for fresh air ventilation and fumigation), dryers, refrigeration, controlled atmosphere equipment, conveyors, and handling, packaging and labeling equipment (see also, Equipment for Post-harvest Preservation and Treatment of Produce). The rest of this section provides support for the following: Generalization 8. When new power sources become available, they are initially used only for selected operations for which their comparative advantage is greatest.
Carrying loads is the earliest use of domesticated work animals, even preceding tillage. Shifts to animal-drawn sleds or carts follow, especially when marketed quantities increase. The cart and plow are the basic farmer-owned implements of early animal-drawn mechanization.They did not appear in Great Britain until 1928, nor in most of continental Europe until 1935, and not in Japan until about 1970. At each level of mechanization, machines for harvesting maize have tended to lag a few years behind those for small grains. Hay harvesting equipment, horse rakes, and tedders became important during the American Civil War of the 1860s and remained so until World War II. In France in 1892, hay-raking machines had not reached 10 percent of their 1955 peak number.