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12 Historical Facts About Farming That You Might Not Know

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12 Historical Facts About Farming That You Might Not Know

Agriculture is the source of most human food. It is difficult to imagine how the life of modern society could continue without agriculture. But it turns out that agricultural methods only appeared later in the history of human life.

Here are 12 historical facts about agriculture that most people don't know.

1. The Beginning

It is called the First Agricultural Revolution, and it dated back to around 10,000 B.C. It’s when the nomadic tribes began to farm. They started with the eight “founder crops” of agriculture: emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chickpeas, and flax.

2. The Second Agricultural Revolution

For some less developed countries, the second agricultural revolution is still happening. For the developed countries, it happened along with The Industrial Revolution from the 1700s to the 1900s. This second revolution led to faster and more efficient farming technologies.

3. The Green Revolution

The Third Agricultural Revolution, or often referred to as the Green Revolution, happened in the late 20th century due to the exponential population growth worldwide. This revolution includes biotechnology, genetic engineering, chemical fertilizers, and mass production of agricultural goods.

4. Fruit Farming

Sometime between 6000 and 3000 B.C., humans started fruit farming. One of the first cultivated fruit crops were figs.

5. The Invention of Plows

It’s said that the earliest plows were probably made from sharpened tree branches. They were called ard and invented in the Middle East soon after agriculture began. 

The plow is cited as one of the most important inventions in the advancement of human society.

6. The First Irrigation System

The Mesopotamians built the first simple irrigation system around 7000 B.C. The earliest large-scale irrigation system was created around 4000 B.C. in southern Russia. This system had canals up to 10 feet across and more than a mile long.

7. The Development of Windmill and Fertilizers

The need for a system to help pump water for irrigation led to a windmill development. It was first developed by Arab scientists in A.D. 644.

They were also the ones who introduced fertilizers to enrich the soil by the year A.D. 1000.

8. The Rise of the Tractors

In the 1880s, tractors were invented. The purpose was to help farmers pull plows through the fields.

The modern tractors were developed a bit later by the 1920s. They support different attachments for different purposes such as plowing, planting, cultivating, mowing, harvesting and moving soil and heavy equipment.

9. The First Domesticated Animal

According to many historians, the first animal to be domesticated was the goats. They are typically the cleanest of animals, much more select feeders that cows, chickens, or dogs. They won’t eat contaminated food or food that has been on the floor or ground.

10. The Status and The Power

Historically, owning and controlling a farm was a symbol of status and power. This is especially true in the Medieval European agrarian societies. Farm ownership is also linked to the types of government, such as feudalism or democracy.

11. To Feed and to Kill

Nitrogen fertilizer has helped feed the entire global population of billions of people. It was co-developed by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch with their ammonia synthesis process. But this synthesis also contributed to the development of chemical agents that killed countless humans during WW1.

12. The Father, The Slave, and the Reaper

The first mechanical reaper, which helped replace manpower to harvest crops, was invented in 1831 by Cyrus McCormick. He’s considered the “Father of Modern Agriculture.” He’s helped by a slave named Jo Anderson in developing the reaper, which is often cited as the key in the westward expansion of the United States.

Of all the historical facts above, which ones do you already know? Write in the comments below.

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