Edmund Lorencowicz
Technical equipment and mechanization form of small farms

The results of the studies conducted in 1992 and 2001 were presented, the aim of which was to determine the trends in the changes of mechanization on small farms in view of their structural changes. For the studies 161 farms of the area not exceeding 10 ha in 1992 were chosen. It results from the fact that the farms of this area constitute over 80% of total farms in Poland . In the studied period numerous changes took place. Mean of utilized agricultural area increased by 3.32 ha (from 7.61 to 10.93 ha ). About 45% of the total was the group of developing farms, which enlarged their agricultural acreage. Even in 1992, the technical equipment of the farms was good, as one tractor occurred per 7.4 ha , one spreader per 11.9 ha , one drill per 9.0 ha , one combine harvester per 34.5 ha cereal and rape, and one baler per 76.9 ha agricultural acreage. The gross value of the machines and tractors per 1 ha was 14.370 PLN in 1992. In 9 years the value increased by 42.6% on average, which results mainly from the substantial purchase of machines by only several farmers. The group of developing farms was characterized by higher dynamics of the value of the machinery sets equal 75.6%. Decapitalization of durable assets took place, as the mean renewal index did not exceed 3%, and only a slight part of the studied farms modernized the possessed machine station.
In the total studied population, the interest in the development of various complementary forms of mechanization lowered. The hypothesis, that the technical equipment of the farms as well as the complementary forms of mechanization was in the studied farms adequate, found its confirmation.
It may be stated that the search for and development of different forms of mechanization is indispensable, as the mean age of the used machines being over 14 years indicates the necessity for their replacement in time, which is impossible, considering the income obtained by small farms. Therefore, it is necessary to extend the principles of cooperation between farms, owing to which it would be possible to improve the level and quality of technology available for farmers with no or respectively low investment.