Steam powered farm machinery
All about Steam Power
These machines were pulled from field to field by horses. The steam engine provided steady power, it didn't tire after hard work, and it only was "fed" when it worked; instead of all year round, like animals. Lousy animals...
If a steam engine could pull a thresher, it could also pull another type of load-the plow. In 1855, a "steam plow" was used by its inventor Obed Hussey.
Then, development of the steam engine slowed as the Civil War began. Most industry was used to produce weapons of war. However, the Armies required more food, and the Armies took many men from their farms at the same time. The few men and women left on the farms needed to use technology to keep up with demand.