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Nov 10, 2009

Ground-breaking moments in global agriculture

Hesston Steam Engine Museum
LaPorte, IN
On 10 November 2009 Reuters published a timeline on the history of agriculture as background material to a related article.  Here is the timeline:

  • 1701 - Briton Jethro Tull invented the seed drill, an improved plough that was drawn by a horse.
  • 1798 - Thomas Malthus predicts impending famine as population growth outstrips food production.
  • 1831 - American Cyrus McCormick introduced his mechanical reaper, which was mass produced by 1847 in a Chicago factory.
  • 1863 - The U.S. Agriculture Department, which forecasts crop production for major countries across the globe, publishes its first monthly crop report.
  • 1866 - Austrian Gregor Mendel laid the foundation of modern genetics by showing traits pass from parents to offspring.
  • 1873 - American John Deere designed the first cast steel plough.
  • 1881 - First generation of hybrid corn to increase production created.
  • 1892 - First successful gasoline engine farm tractor built by American inventor John Froelich.
  • 1923 - Commercial hybrid seed corn developed by Henry Wallace, who in 1926 founded the Hi-Bred Corn Co (now Pioneer Hi-Bred International).
  • 1934 - Worst drought in U.S. history swept through the Great Plains and covered more than 75 percent of the country.
  • 1944 - Normal Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution to increase food production, joins Rockefeller Foundation.
  • 1945 - Beginning of the Green Revolution to increase food production through new cultivars, irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides and mechanization.
  • 1956 - Mexico becomes self-sufficient in wheat as a result of the Green Revolution.
  • 1960 - Philippines government, Ford and Rockefeller foundations establish the International Rice Research Institute in Manila.
  • 1968 - William Gaud, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, coins the term Green Revolution. "These and other developments in the field of agriculture contain the makings of a new revolution. It is not a violent Red Revolution like that of the Soviets, nor is it a White Revolution like that of the Shah of Iran. I call it the Green Revolution."
  • 1970 - Borlaug is awarded Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply
To see the original article see here: "Timeline: Ground-breaking moments in global agriculture," Reuters, 10 November 2010.

About Margaret


CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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