The Evolution of Agricultural Technology : A Story of Humanity’s Progress

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When we talk about agriculture, we usually only think about the activities surrounding how we grow and cultivate animals. Sometimes we forget that the story of agriculture is a story of humanity’s endeavor and progress. 

In the beginning, human beings are hunter-gatherer societies. They rely on plants and animals that grow in the wild to survive. As you may imagine, this is quite challenging for their survival, requiring humans to travel far to hunt and living at the mercy of nature. Eventually, they found out how to grow their own plants and domesticate animals, leading them to change their way of life from nomadic hunters into a community that can settle in a single location. This enables them to build the culture and the modern society along with it.

Here, we would like to talk about how after agriculture created the modern society, it has also been transformed by the modern technology, especially after the Industrial Revolution. Through the infographic and explanation below, we will take you through this evolution in the past two centuries.

Agriculture methods have evolved throughout the prehistoric age, middle age, and renaissance in the industrial revolution, which lead us to the industry that we know today. Since that renaissance, innovation in agriculture and farming methods brings vast improvements in farm machinery and technology, enabling massive and rapid agricultural productivity.

  • In 1890, commercial fertilizer (consisting of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, commonly known as NPK) grants farmers high yields on their crops even though they are using the same land plot for years. This eliminates the need to clear new ground for fields, as well as making it easier to predict profits from harvest.

 

  • In 1945-1970, the change from horses to tractors as the main tool to mechanize agriculture tasks such as plowing is considered as the second agriculture revolution (the first revolution is the use of horses to replace human hands in doing the agricultural task). This revolution has led to the sharp rise in productivity per land unit in countries around the globe.

 

  • In the 1990s, the rapid adoption of computers leads to the beginning of precision technique utilization in Agriculture.

 

  • In 1994, the innovation of the satellite technology to track and plan their farming practices based on information such as weather and vegetation index.

 

  • In the early 2000s, commercialization of crops that are genetically modified using biotechnology began to change the way farmers can produce better commodities

 

Agriculture, Meet Advanced Technology

Today, modern farms and agricultural operations have come a long way compared to decades ago, primarily because of all the advanced technology introduced many new elements in the mix including sensors, devices, and smart – machines.

These advanced devices will allow agricultural operations to be more productive, efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly. Helping us to prepare for the world with dramatic population growth where we will have more people to feed.

In the end, all the progress of humanity that has been sparked by agriculture has come full circle and changed the nature of agriculture itself, evolving together along with humanity’s journey to the future.

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