ANIMAL POWER

U.S. Farmers Turning To Mule Power To Fight Rising Oil Prices

…. with gas approaching $4 a gallon, T.R. and Danny Raymond, two farmers on a 40-acre farm in McMinnville, Tennessee, have now switched over by modifying their equipment to shift the weight equally between two mules. Though training the animals to pull the equipment is initially time-consuming, the substitution has meant that the Raymonds save $60 a day on fuel.

“They just eat hay and a little sweet feed, a little shell corn,” T.R. Raymond says of his mules. “You gotta rub around on them and talk to them, stay acquainted with them, where they know you.”

Of course, the Raymonds are not the only ones now falling back on good, old resourcefulness. “There’s a lot of mule power around here,” says T.R. Raymond. “When you get to where you can’t afford the gas, you hook the mules up.”

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  1. chel says:

    I know that gas prices reaching $4 plus sounds crazy but… up here in northern BC Canada we are paying 1.429 Canadian per litre which is about 5.58 US per gallon. As scary as things are getting remember to count your blessing and act now as you are able because… it can always be worse… you could live up here 😉

  2. anajz says:

    So great to read your post Justin!
    My husband and I were just talking about how we wish we could use horses to work the ground at our farm. We hope to someday actually move to our farm, but for now I will be the workhorse “plowing” my yard by hand. 🙂

    ~anajz~

  3. Judy says:

    I saw on the news (plus read it online) about the truckers’ strike in Spain and France. What they are paying for a gallon of diesel over there is unbelievable… well, the price is very high in all of Europe.

    The strike has made it so that the fuel stations are out of fuel and now the grocery stores are running out of fresh produce. I don’t know when the grocery stores will run out of all food — that’s a good question.

    It just goes to show how dependent the US is (and Canada probably too) on oil.

    Oh and the flooding in the midwest — I saw on the news yesterday that many acres of corn that was lost. Just one farmer who farms almost 400 acres in total lost just about all of his crop….

    All of this just shows how we all need to learn to be self-sufficient.

  4. DeadAt40 says:

    I have fantasized for years about working my place with mules. My best friend didn’t get a tractor until 1970, and listening to him talk always makes it seem real to me. However, since I only have two acres, no barn, fence or income, I don’t see myself driving a mule any time soon. My friend only has a donkey now and she don’t do no work.

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