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agri or ager (a field) + cultura (cultivation) = cultivation of land

The process of producing food, feed, fiber, and other desired products by cultivation of
certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals


Identifying the exact origin of agriculture remains problematic because the transition from
hunter-gatherer societies began thousands of years before the invention of writing. Nonetheless,
archaeobotanists/paleoethnobotanists have traced the selection and cultivation of specific food
plant characteristics, such as a semi-tough rachis and larger seeds, to just after the Younger Dryas
9500 BCE: Earliest evidence for domesticated wheat
8000 BCE: Evidence for cattle herding
7000 BCE: Cultivation of barley; (mehrgahr)
animals are domesticated
6000 BCE: Indus Valley grows cotton and sugar;
Rice comes up in East Asia;
Irrigation aids farming radiocarbondated evidence of canals
5500 BCE: Sumerians start organized agriculture
5400 BCE: Linearbandkeramik Culture in Europe
The Linearbandkeramik Culture (LBK) is the name given by German archaeologist F. Klopfleisch in
1884 to the first true farming communities in central Europe, dated between between 5400 and 4900 BC.
Thus, LBK is considered the first Neolithic cultures in the European continent. The word
Linearbandkeramik refers to the distinctive banded decoration found on pottery vessels on sites spread
throughout central Europe, from south-western Ukraine and Moldova in the east to the Paris Basin in the
west. The LBK people are considered the importers of agricultural products and methods, moving the first
domesticated animals and plants from the Near East and Central Asia into Europe.

4000 BCE: Use of plows in Mesopotamia;


Believed to be invented by the Sumerians of Mesopotamia.

In its initial form, the plough would probably have been nothing more than a forked tree

limb, the one prong having been sharpened in order for it to cut into the ground.
The plough made it possible to harness the power of oxen to dig the furrows in which the
grain seeds would be sown.

And, despite the fact that most history books give the 18th century English farmer, Jethro
Tull, the credit for having invented the seed drill, one has been found to be illustrated
on a carved stone seal from Sumer.
Domestication of horses (in Ukraine)

2737 BCE: Tea is discovered


Tea was first discovered by the Chinese Emperor Shennong in 2737 BC.
It is said that the emperor liked his drinking water boiled before he drank it so it would be

clean, so that is what his servants did.

One day, on a trip to a distant region, he and his army stopped to rest.
A servant began boiling water for him to drink, and a dead leaf from the wild tea bush fell

into the water.

It turned a brownish color, but it was unnoticed and presented to the emperor anyway.
The emperor drank it and found it very refreshing, and cha (tea) was born.
While historically the origin of tea as a medicinal herb useful for staying awake is
unclear, China is considered to have the earliest records of tea drinking, with recorded tea

use in its history dating back to the first millennium BC.

The Han Dynasty used tea as medicine.

2000 BCE: First windmills in Babylon

1000 BCE: Sugar processing in India
a symbol of sweet attractiveness.
500 BCE: Row cultivation in China
The Chinese on the other hand, planted individual seeds and rows, thus reducing seed loss. The
planting of crops in rows also allowed for intensive hoeing, which in turn reduce weeds.
200: Multi-row seed drill invented in China
A seed drill is a device allowing to plant seeds in the soil. Before the introduction of seed drill,
the common practice was to "broadcast" seeds by hand. Besides being wasteful, broadcasting
was very imprecise and led to a poor repartition of seeds, leading to low productivity.
700: Arab Agriculture Revolution

Crops from Africa such as sorghum,

crops from China such as citrus fruits,
and numerous crops from India such as mangos, rice, and especially cotton and sugar

were distributed throughout Islamic lands, which previously had not grown these crops.

1000: Coffee originates in Arabia

1492: Columbian exchanges changes agriculture

The term is used to describe the enormous widespread exchange of plants, animals, foods,
human populations (including slaves), communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern
and Western hemispheres that occurred after 1492.
1599: First practical greenhouse is created
1658: Ranch operation reaches the US
1700: British Agriculture Revolution;
The British Agricultural Revolution describes a period of agricultural development in Britain
between the 18th century and the end of the 19th century, which saw a massive increase in
agricultural productivity and net output.
Crop rotation is popularized
1800: Chemical fertilizers were used - Justus von Liebig
1837: John Deere invents steel plough - The wrought-iron framed plow had a polished steel
share which made it ideal for the tough soil of the Midwest, and worked better than other plows.
1879: Use of milking machines - Anna Baldwin
1892: First practical gasoline-powered tractor
1900: Birth of industrial agriculture
Industrial agriculture is a form of modern farming that refers to the industrialized production of
livestock, poultry, fish, and crops. The methods of industrial agriculture are technoscientific,
economic, and political. They include innovation in agricultural machinery and farming methods,
genetic technology, techniques for achieving economies of scale in production, the creation of
new markets for consumption, the application of patent protection to genetic information, and
global trade.
1930: First plant patent is given
Since 1930, plants have been patentable. The first plant patent was granted to Henry F.
Bosenberg for a climbing or trailing rose.
1939: Use of DDT is popularized
Paul Mller discovered that DDT was a very effective insecticide. Most used insecticide
1944: Green Revolution in Mexico
The Green Revolution is the ongoing transformation of agriculture that led in some places to
significant increases in agricultural production between the 1940s and 1960s. The associated

transformation has been occurring as the result of programs of agricultural research, extension,
and infrastructural development, instigated and largely funded by the Hailey Ashton Foundation,
along with the Ford Foundation and other major agencies. The consensus among some
agronomists is that the Green Revolution allowed food production to keep pace with worldwide
population growth.
1948: Center pivot irrigation machine invented
Colorado farmer Frank Zybach invents the center pivot irrigation machine, which revolutionizes
irrigation technology. The system consists of sprinklers attached to arms that radiate from a
water-filled hub out to motorized wheeled towers in the field. Zybach is awarded a patent in
1952 for the "Self- Propelled Sprinkling Irrigating Apparatus."
1966: Electronic monitoring devices allow farmers to plant crops more efficiently
1972: Organic movement starts taking roots
1980: Biotechnological development
1994: Farmers begin using Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers
Ushering in the new "precision agriculture," farmers begin using Global Positioning System
(GPS) receivers to record precise locations on their farms to determine which areas need
particular quantities of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. The information can be stored on a card
and transferred to a home computer.
1996: Commercial cultivation of genetically modified plants
1. Telematics
Imagine pulling up on your mobile computer a map that shows where all your vehicles
are operating and their fuel levels, how much product has been applied or how much crop
harvested, and even if a piece of equipment is ready to break down. This type of Big
Brother look is now possible with telematic products that allow navigation, prescription
application, location and other data to be transferred easily to and from farm machinery.
These systems help farmers improve efficiencies on high-priced equipment.
2. Herbicide-tolerance trait technology

3. Mini-chromosome technology
Corn trait technology could be in for a revolution, and its coming in a small package.
Mini-chromosome technology promises to deliver multiple stacked traits in a single corn
hybrid faster and more efficiently than todays stacking technologies. The technology,
developed by Syngenta and Chromatin, constructs in the lab a new mini-chromosome
that contains a given trait or traits.
Stacking could involve not just three, five or eight traits in a single corn hybrid, but
dozens, if not hundreds, of specific traits. And because the corn plants original
chromosomes are not being altered, regulatory approval could be sped up by two years
over current technology.
4. Drought-resistant traits
The decades of work to develop drought-resistant plants are finally producing results. The
first corn hybrids marketed for drought conditions are now being sold. These hybrids use
natural gene selection and are targeted to the western Corn Belt where water is a key
limiting factor. Companies promise yields will be more stable with these hybrids.
The next round of drought hybrids will include genetically modified traits and should
appear in the middle of the decade. Scientists are using biotechnology to alter one of the
many different factors involved in a plants growth under water-restricted and high-heat
5. Biological Pest Control
Expect to see more biological pest control and growth enhancements as farmers look for
more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient crop inputs. Advanced technologies,
such as high-throughput screening, are also helping companies to quickly multiply
beneficial organisms, thus driving development of new biologicals.
6. RFID Technology
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, has been widely used in livestock to identify
animals. But global futurist Jack Uldrich says use of the tagging technology will expand
to crops as the technology gets exponentially better, faster and cheaper.
These are really small computer chips that will allow consumers to track individual
products from cradle to grave, he says. The futurist added that consumers will want to

know how farmers grow their corn and soybeans and what inputs they are using to
determine whether they are environmental stewards.
7. Soil and crop sensors
More farm equipment today is being outfitted with smart sensors that can read everything
from plant health and water needs in the crop to nitrogen levels in the soil. The sensors
then enable on-the-go application of inputs based on real-time field conditions.
The newest area of sensor use is in irrigation where the sensors measure water needs.
Sensors help optimize water use and avoid yield loss, according to Viacheslav
Adamchuk, ag engineer, McGill University.
New optical-sensing technologies for determining crop health include Trimbles
GreenSeeker, Topcons CropSpec, and Ag Leaders Opt-Rx. These intelligent systems
measure light reflectance from the crop that translates into nitrogen levels. Electronic
controllers connected to the sensors then signal application systems to apply the correct
amount of nitrogen the crop needs.
Sensor technology also is available to measure soil features like soil electrical
conductivity, ground elevation, organic matter content and even pH. For example, Veris
Technologies, Geonics and Dualem all make different types of soil sensors.
Another type of sensing system is satellite or aerial imaging, called remote sensing. These
satellites shoot images of key agricultural areas every three to four days to note
differences in crop health. Growers can then apply nutrients based on a prescription from
the satellite images.
8. Electric drive systems
Someday farmers will see tractors, sprayers and other farm vehicles generate electric
power to run auxiliaries and attachments. This move will occur as farm vehicles become
larger and more complex. It takes extra engine power to operate all these extra features.
Electrification should start appearing after Tier 4 engines are fully developed and
9. Pervasive automation
Growers should expect these types of automation to largely take over operation of
equipment in the future. The new automated features allow operators to do more jobs
with less strain and more accuracy because human error is eliminated.

Some of the features, according to Hamre, include GPS steering, GPS headlands turning,
conventional headlands programmable automation, automatic balers, automation of
operator control of combines and forage harvesters, and automation of tractor operator
functions like intelligent power management.
The Philippines is still primarily an agricultural country. Most citizens still live in rural areas and
support themselves through agriculture. The country's agriculture sector is made up of 4 subsectors: farming, fisheries, livestock, and forestry.
Agriculture grew by 2.92 percent in 2012. At current prices, value of agricultural production
amounted to P1.4 trillion, higher by 1.17 percent from the 2011 level.
Crop production which accounted for 51.46 percent of total agricultural output increased by 4.14
percent during the year. The main sources of growth were palay and corn where outputs went up
by 8.08 percent and 6.25 percent respectively.
Livestock production inched up by 1.10 percent. The subsector shared 16.07 percent in the total
agricultural production. Hog production grew by 1.71 percent. Carabao, cattle and goat recorded
lower production during the year. The subsector grossed P214.3 billion at current prices, up by
0.94 percent from last years level.
The poultry subsector posted a 4.53 percent increase in output. It accounted for 14.27 percent of
the total agricultural production in 2012. Chicken was the main source of growth with its 4.61
percent output increment. Gross value of poultry production amounted to P167.1 billion at
current prices. This was higher by 5.24 percent from last years record.
Fisheries production continued to decline and a 0.04 percent decrease was noted this year. This
subsector shared 18.20 percent in the total agricultural output. Commercial fisheries recovered

from last years negative growth with its 0.23 percent output increase this year. Aquaculture
recorded a 2.85 percent production gain this year. Municipal fisheries production went down by
3.88 percent. The subsector grossed P237.2 billion at current prices, up by 5.55 percent from last
years gross earnings.
On the average, farmgate prices declined by 1.70 percent this year. The crops subsector had an
average price reduction of 4.74 percent. Prices in the livestock subsector were down by an
average of 0.16 percent. An average price increase of 0.68 percent in the poultry subsector was
noted during the year. The fisheries subsector recorded an average price increment of 5.59
One of the most pressing concerns of the agricultural sector is the rampant conversion of
agricultural land into golf courses, residential subdivisions, and industrial parks or resorts. In
1993 the nation was losing irrigated rice lands at a rate of 2,300 hectares per year. Small landholders find it more profitable to sell their land to developers in exchange for cash, especially
since they lack capital for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and wages for hiring workers to plant and
harvest the crops. Another concern is farmers' continued reliance on chemical-based fertilizers or
pesticides that have destroyed soil productivity over time. In recent years however, farmers have
been slowly turning to organic fertilizer, or at least to a combination of chemical and organic
Environmental damage is another major concern. Coral-reef destruction, pollution of coastal and
marine resources, mangrove forest destruction, and siltation (the clogging of bodies of water
with silt deposits) are significant problems.