What prompted industrialized agriculture to begin


The industrialization of agriculture began after World War II, as a way of addressing global hunger and making the food supply more efficient and safe. The global shift towards this model of farming in the last sixty years has come with many costs.Oct 10, 2018


When did the industrialization of Agriculture begin?

The industrialization of agriculture dates back to the mid-19th century, especially after World War II. Industrialization of agriculture then was seen as a necessary measure to address massive global hunger that has gripped the war-torn world.

How did the agricultural revolution lead to the Industrial Revolution?

The agricultural revolution paved the way for the Industrial Revolution, both by showing how the new ideas of science could be put to practical use and by freeing the manpower needed for factories. Dramatic changes in agriculture were already in progress when the eighteenth century began.

What are the different hypotheses about the origin of Agriculture?

Origin hypotheses. Scholars have developed a number of hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an antecedent period of intensification and increasing sedentism; examples are the Natufian culture in the Levant,…

What was the first crop in agriculture?

It was not until after 9500 BC that the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax.


How did industrial agriculture start?

The early 1900s saw the introduction of synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, innovations that have become a hallmark of industrial crop production.

Why was industrial agriculture developed?

Industrial agriculture got an early start in the United States. To avoid the laborious task of manuring soils to supply nutrients, inorganic fertilizers, such as superphosphates, came into use as early as the 1840s.

What has led to the industrialization of the agricultural system?

The mass industrialization of the US agricultural system can be traced back to policies promoted during the Nixon administration by USDA Secretary Earl Butz, encouraging farmers to “get big or get out.” Support shifted from small family farms to large, highly mechanized mega farms dependent on vast monocrops and costly …

When did agricultural industrialization start?

Because of the difficulty of agricultural work, it became necessary to innovate the agricultural industry, thus beginning the Agricultural Revolution which arguably started in the mid-18th century.

What is the major goal of industrialized agriculture?

The major goal of industrialized agriculture for any crop has been to steadily increase its yield—the amount of food produced per unit of land.

What historical event happened along with and was a cause of the start of industrial farming?

The Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century paved the way for the Industrial Revolution in Britain. New farming techniques and improved livestock breeding led to amplified food production.

What were three reasons the Industrial Revolution began in England?

Historians have identified several reasons for why the Industrial Revolution began first in Britain, including: the effects of the Agricultural Revolution, large supplies of coal, geography of the country, a positive political climate, and a vast colonial empire.

How did the Agricultural Revolution lead to the Industrial Revolution quizlet?

How did the Agricultural Revolution lead to the Industrial Revolution? When farming methods improved, food supplies increased, and so did England’s population; this led to increased demand for goods. Small farmers lost their land to enclosed farms and became factory workers.

What is meant by industrialized agriculture?

Industrial agriculture is the large-scale, intensive production of crops and animals, often involving chemical fertilizers on crops or the routine, harmful use of antibiotics in animals (as a way to compensate for filthy conditions, even when the animals are not sick).

What are the benefits of industrial agriculture?

Industrial Agriculture ProsIncreased Food Production.Increased Employment Opportunities.Faster Market Readiness.Lower Consumer Costs.Innovation.Broadened Palates and Balanced Diets.High Worker Efficiency.Flexible Locations.More items…

How Industrialisation has benefited agriculture?

The use of modern machinery and technology for various agriculture processes makes industrial farming more cost-effective for farmers, which in turn lowers the overall cost of the produce for the end consumers.

What is industrial agriculture?

Industrial agriculture is the large-scale, intensive production of crops and animals, often involving chemical fertilizers on crops or the routine , harmful use of antibiotics in animals (as a way to compensate for filthy conditions, even when the animals are not sick). It may also involve crops that are genetically modified, …

Why do industrial farms use antibiotics?

Industrial farms overuse antibiotics, feeding large amounts of the drugs—often the same ones used to treat human illnesses—to healthy animals to help them survive in crowded, dirty CAFOs. Low-level exposure to antibiotics creates the perfect breeding ground for superbugs, those pathogens that antibiotics can’t kill.

Why is monoculture bad for the soil?

Monoculture also renders the soil prone to rapid erosion, since the practice leaves the soil bare outside of the crop’s growing season. Perhaps more problematically, repeatedly planting the same crop invites pests that prey on a certain plant to wait around the same spot for their favorite food to return.

What are conventional farmers left to do to avoid pests?

What are conventional farmers left to do to avoid pests? Apply pesticides. That’s why monoculture and genetic modification tend to go hand in hand. Planting pesticide-tolerant GMO crops enables farmers to blanket the landscape with chemicals without damaging their corn or soy. (Speaking of corn and soy, many U.S. farmers rotate their fields back and forth between those two crops, leading to a duoculture that’s only slightly less damaging to the soil than a monoculture.)

How do giant farms affect the environment?

Giant farms—whether growing crops or animals—often rely heavily on chemicals and produce waste that pollutes the water and air. As a result, the system we’ve designed to feed the planet also takes a serious toll on its health.

What is a factory farm?

The term “factory farm” is commonly used to refer to large, industrialized facilities raising animals for food, but it isn’t a legal or scientific term. The official name for these facilities is concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

How did humans modify plants?

Ancient farmers planted seeds from only the sweetest fruits, generation after generation, ensuring that any genetic variations that increased sweetness survived. By selecting plants with increasingly white, increasingly tiny, flowers, farmers turned a weedy little herb into cauliflower. It was slow but effective.

Why did the agricultural revolution happen?

In order for farmers to benefit from excess food production, they had to get their crops to market, so the agricultural revolution became an impetus for the development of roads, bridges, tunnels, and canals. The rapid growth of railroads was also strongly driven by the need to get a valuable, perishable product to consumers. To manage this market, commodities exchanges were created. The Chicago Board of Trade was established in 1848.

How did agriculture change in the 1700s?

Agricultural technology changed more dramatically in the 1700s than at any time since the introduction of draft animals millennia before. Mechanized planting and threshing made farms more efficient, threw workers off the farm, and altered the very shape of the countryside. Scientific approaches were applied to agriculture, and books helped spread new ideas and approaches. At the end of the century, cotton became a force for change: Whitney’s gin made cotton profitable for the first time in the American South and helped support the continuation of slavery. Off the farm cotton mills led the way in industrialization. Farm mechanization made food supplies more stable and more plentiful, supporting a surge in population and leading to unprecedented growth in cities.

How did enclosure systems affect agriculture?

By contrast the enclosure system developed in the Low Countries, transformed farming into an efficient, pseudo-industrial endeavor. When plots of land were allocated to specific owners, the profitability of each tract became the responsibility of its farmer. This encouraged mechanization, reduced labor costs, and encouraged innovation. For the large landowners, who had sponsored enclosure laws, the result was an industrialization of farming, more arable land, and exceptionally high agricultural productivity. For smaller landowners, privatization was a disaster; farmers could no longer distribute risk or share resources, and they were even held responsible for the costs of fencing. Still, the overall effect was more food from less labor.

What were the three inventions that led to the Industrial Revolution?

In the eighteenth century, the world witnessed a revolution in agriculture led by three inventions—the seed drill, the threshing machine, and the cotton gin. Complementing these new tools were new ideas, set forth in books. The agricultural revolution paved the way for the Industrial Revolution, both by showing how the new ideas of science could be put to practical use and by freeing the manpower needed for factories.

What were the major developments in farming in the 1700s?

There were many other important developments in farming in the 1700s: Charles Newbold invented a cast-iron plow that could dig more deeply into the soil in 1797. Joseph Boyce developed an early reaper (1799). New crops were introduced, and Viscount Charles Townsend helped end the practice of letting fields lie fallow by showing that rotating soil-enriching crops, such as turnips and clover, with traditional crops kept the soil fertile. This put 50% more land into use and increased the supply of available cattle feed.

How did farmers benefit from the prize offered by Napoleon?

Here they benefited from a prize offered by Napoleon in 1794 for a practical means of food preservation. In 1810, Nicolas Appert (1750-1841) invented canning. With a way to preserve their products indefinitely and deliver them to ever more remote destinations, markets once again expanded for farmers.

What is open field farming?

Open-field farming was a communal activity. The land around a village was divided into rectangular plots called furlongs. Strips of about a morning’s plowing were distributed within each furlong. This arrangement encouraged sharing of work and draft animals, and distributed good and poor soil equally among all the farmers. The open-field system also spread the ongoing burden of allowing one-third of the land to regenerate each year by lying fallow. Pasture and woodlands were held in common, so everyone was able to hunt, graze animals, and gather wood. The poor were granted the right of gleaning—they could go through fields after harvest and pick up any grain that had been left.

How has industrialization affected agriculture?

However, on the other hand, the industrialization of agriculture has wreaked havoc on the natural resources; depleting the soil of nutrients and destroyed water reservoirs & marine animals. While it is certainly efficient to continue feeding the growing population of the world, it’s inherently unsustainable and brings more damage to the environment.

Why is industrial agriculture important?

The crops grown using industrial agriculture is meant to feed the masses and ensure food security across the world. The use of chemicals, mechanized tools, and other advanced technology are some of the reasons why industrial agriculture is able to produce massive quantities of food from farms.

Why are industrial farms better than traditional farms?

Apart from increasing the crop yield, large industrialized farms are also better suited to lower the cost of production, making food more accessible for the masses even at the lower income levels. The use of modern machinery and technology for various agriculture processes makes industrial farming more cost-effective for farmers, which in turn lowers the overall cost of the produce for the end consumers.

What is industrial agriculture?

In this type of agriculture, the focus is mainly on maximizing the yield of fewer types of crops for more sales and greater profits, instead of diversification of the crops. The crops grown using industrial agriculture is meant to feed the masses and ensure food security across the world.

How does subsistence farming work?

Subsistence agriculture is heavily dependent on manual labor with all the harvesting and cultivation activities being done by humans or animals using simple hand tools to work the lands. This type of agriculture also doesn’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, rather age-old proven natural techniques are used to deal with the fertility of infestation problems. Most of the farmers practicing subsistence agriculture also have poultry, and livestock, manure from which is used as natural fertilizers for the crops. The crop yield is primarily used to meet the family food requirement, as well as, to feed the livestock. Any surplus food is then supplied to local families or in the local market.

Why are large industrial farms better suited than traditional small to medium farms?

Large industrial farms are better suited than traditional small to medium farms for mechanized agriculture practices, which directly results in higher yields of crops, which has been the basic driving purpose of the industrialization efforts since the 1950s, to ensure food security of a rapidly growing global population.

Why did the United States adapt to the industrialization trend?

At that point in time, it was believed that scientific engineering and laboratory processing actually gives off better, healthier and safer products compared to natural products. And when the industrialization of the agriculture was able to guarantee the food security for the Americans who have been through devastating food shortages and just passed through the Great Depression, it was only natural for the administration and policymakers to nod positively for the industrialization of the agriculture to ensure food safety of a growing population.

How did the Industrial Revolution affect agriculture?

Between the 17th century and the mid-19th century, Britain saw a large increase in agricultural productivity and net output. New agricultural practices like enclosure, mechanization, four-field crop rotation to maintain soil nutrients, and selective breeding enabled an unprecedented population growth to 5.7 million in 1750, freeing up a significant percentage of the workforce, and thereby helped drive the Industrial Revolution. The productivity of wheat went up from 19 US bushels (670 l; 150 US dry gal; 150 imp gal) per acre in 1720 to around 30 US bushels (1,100 l; 240 US dry gal; 230 imp gal) by 1840, marking a major turning point in history.

How long ago did agriculture start?

Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago.

What are the social issues that modern agriculture has raised?

Modern agriculture has raised social, political, and environmental issues including overpopulation, water pollution, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, tariffs and farm subsidies. In response, organic farming developed in the twentieth century as an alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides.

How has agriculture changed since 1900?

Since 1900, agriculture in the developed nations, and to a lesser extent in the developing world, has seen large rises in productivity as human labour has been replaced by mechanization, and assisted by synthe tic fertilizers, pesticides, and selective breeding.

What were the crops that were introduced in the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, both in the Islamic world and in Europe, agriculture was transformed with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants, including the introduction of sugar, rice, cotton and fruit trees such as the orange to Europe by way of Al-Andalus.

Why was clover important to agriculture?

The use of clover was especially important as the legume roots replenished soil nitrates. The mechanisation and rationalisation of agriculture was another important factor.

Why did agriculture start in the Levant?

Localised climate change is the favoured explanation for the origins of agriculture in the Levant. When major climate change took place after the last ice age (c. 11,000 BC), much of the earth became subject to long dry seasons. These conditions favoured annual plants which die off in the long dry season, leaving a dormant seed or tuber. An abundance of readily storable wild grains and pulses enabled hunter-gatherers in some areas to form the first settled villages at this time.

Why did people start farming?

In the Near East, for example, it’s thought that climatic changes at the end of the last ice age brought seasonal conditions that favored annual plants like wild cereals. Elsewhere, such as in East Asia, increased pressure on natural food resources may have forced people to find homegrown solutions. But whatever the reasons for its independent origins, farming sowed the seeds for the modern age.

What was the farming revolution?

Taking root around 12,000 years ago, agriculture triggered such a change in society and the way in which people lived that its development has been dubbed the ” Neolithic Revolution.”. Traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles, followed by humans since their evolution, were swept aside in favor of permanent settlements …

What mutation occurred during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe?

But at some point during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe, a mutation occurred for lactose tolerance that increased in frequency through natural selection thanks to the nourishing benefits of milk.

Where did wheat come from?

The wild progenitors of crops including wheat, barley and peas are traced to the Near East region. Cereals were grown in Syria as long as 9,000 years ago, while figs were cultivated even earlier; prehistoric seedless fruits discovered in the Jordan Valley suggest fig trees were being planted some 11,300 years ago.

When did corn cobs first appear?

While maize-like plants derived from teosinte appear to have been cultivated at least 9,000 years ago, the first directly dated corn cob dates only to around 5,500 years ago . Corn later reached North America, where cultivated sunflowers also started to bloom some 5,000 years ago.

How long ago did goats come to Europe?

Dates for the domestication of these animals range from between 13,000 to 10,000 years ago. Genetic studies show that goats and other livestock accompanied the westward spread of agriculture into Europe, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society. While the extent to which farmers themselves migrated west remains a subject of debate, …

When did rice and millet farming start?

The origins of rice and millet farming date to around 6,000 B.C.E.

Why did the first agricultural revolution occur?

Because this revolution began about 14,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, experts theorize the warmer climate drove early humans to plant crops and build homes. At the same time, humans developed aspects of culture like religion and art. Archeologists have discovered cave art and figurines from this period. These discoveries demonstrate how humans had developed greater intellectual capabilities than their ancestors. Additionally, these new beliefs may have encouraged humans to settle in a permanent community with like-minded people.

What were the main developments in agriculture during the agricultural revolution?

In China, humans used flood and fire control to create rice paddies beginning around 6,000 B .C. They domesticated water buffalos and yaks to eat their meat and milk and their hair and hide to make clothing. In Mexico, humans selectively bred a wild plant called teosinte to create maize or corn. The earliest known corn cob dates from 3,500 B.C. These same humans grew squash, which would become a staple food throughout the Americas. At the same time in the Andes Mountains of South America, humans grew potatoes.

What was the second agricultural revolution?

The Second Agricultural Revolution, or the British Agricultural Revolution, began during the 18th century. Major changes to farming techniques, which included livestock breeding, crop rotation, and mechanical farm equipment, decreased the number of workers needed on farms.

How did agriculture change the world?

The innovations in agriculture radically changed how humans produced food. Crop rotation and livestock breeding resulted in higher yields, while new mechanical equipment required fewer workers. Because their work was no longer needed, people traveled to cities to find work. Some people were desperate for employment in factories or other city jobs. Their small family farms could not compete with larger, industrial farms, or modern farming equipment had rendered their labor obsolete. In contrast, the children of successful farmers could now leave their families to look for other employment without worrying about who would work on the farm. The surplus produce from industrial farms could be sold to city dwellers, which in turn allowed more people to have occupations other than farming.

How did the agricultural revolution affect people?

The agricultural revolutions affected how people worked and got their food. The first caused people to grow crops and raise animals for food. The second caused people to move into cities and work in factories . The third led to an increase in human population.

Why was the Third Agricultural Revolution called the Green Revolution?

This time period received its name because of the emphasis on creating crops that yielded the most produce. Improvement in fertilizers and irrigation allowed crops to grow in climates previously too dry. Agricultural scientists like American researcher Norman Borlaug bred plants resistant to disease, produced more grain, and responded well to fertilizers. Industrial farms raised a single strain of highly productive plant. While these homogeneous crops increased yield, they were less disease-resistant and elevated the need for pesticides.

Why did the seed drill revolution start?

This revolution started because of developments in technology, a shift towards industrialization, and the growth of cities. In the early 18th century, British inventor Jethro Tull perfected the seed drill, which allowed farmers to efficiently sew seeds in rows rather than scattering seeds by hand.

What was the Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution marked a period of development in the latter half of the 18th century that transformed largely rural, agrarian societies in Europe and America into industrialized, urban ones.

How did industrialization affect the middle class?

Meanwhile, even as industrialization increased economic output overall and improved the standard of living for the middle and upper classes, poor and working class people continued to struggle. The mechanization of labor created by technological innovation had made working in factories increasingly tedious (and sometimes dangerous), and many workers were forced to work long hours for pitifully low wages. Such dramatic changes fueled opposition to industrialization, including the “ Luddites ,” known for their violent resistance to changes in Britain’s textile industry.

What were the major advances in communication during the Industrial Revolution?

The latter part of the Industrial Revolution also saw key advances in communication methods, as people increasingly saw the need to communicate efficiently over long distances. In 1837, British inventors William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone patented the first commercial telegraphy system, even as Samuel Morse and other inventors worked on their own versions in the United States. Cooke and Wheatstone’s system would be used for railroad signalling, as the speed of the new trains had created a need for more sophisticated means of communication.

What was the British textile industry before the Industrial Revolution?

But prior to the Industrial Revolution, the British textile business was a true “cottage industry,” with the work performed in small workshops or even homes by individual spinners, weavers and dyers.

Why did Britain make more mechanized factories?

More efficient, mechanized production meant Britain’s new textile factories could meet the growing demand for cloth both at home and abroad, where the nation’s many overseas colonies provided a captive market for its goods. In addition to textiles, the British iron industry also adopted new innovations.

How did the Industrial Revolution affect Britain?

Though many people in Britain had begun moving to the cities from rural areas before the Industrial Revolution, this process accelerated dramatically with industrialization, as the rise of large factories turned smaller towns into major cities over the span of decades. This rapid urbanization brought significant challenges, as overcrowded cities suffered from pollution, inadequate sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water.

What innovations made weaving easier?

Starting in the mid-18th century, innovations like the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny, the water frame and the power loom made weaving cloth and spinning yarn and thread much easier. Producing cloth became faster and required less time and far less human labor.



In the early 1900s, more than half of Americans were either farmers or lived in rural communities.1 Most U.S. farms were diversified, meaning they produced a variety of crops and animal species together on the same farm, in complementary ways.2Farmers were skilled in a wide range of trades and had autonomy over ho…

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  • Specialization aims to increase efficiency by narrowing the range of tasks and roles involved in production. A diversified farmer, for example, might need to manage and care for many different vegetable crops, a composting operation, a flock of egg-laying hens, a sow, and her litter of piglets. Specialized farmers, by contrast, can focus all their knowledge, skills, and equipment on …

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  • Like work on an assembly line, specialized labor often involves repetitive tasks that can be performed by machines. This meant routine jobs like sowing seeds, harvesting crops, milking cows, and feeding and slaughtering animals could be mechanized, reducing (and in some cases eliminating) the need for human and animal labor. Between 1900 and 2000, the share of the U.S…

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  • Consolidation in agriculture is the shift toward fewer and larger farms, usually as a result of large farms getting larger and smaller farms going out of business. In the late 1950s, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson exemplified government pressure to consolidate when he called on farmers to “get big or get out.”15 Between 1950 and 1997, the average U.S. farm more than dou…

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Market Concentration

  • Market share is the proportion of an industry’s sales earned by one company. In the U.S. market for salty snacks, for example, 64 percent of sales are earned by PepsiCo.19 When a small number of companies have a large market share of an industry, the market for that industry is said to be concentrated. Markets become more concentrated when companies take over, or merge with, th…

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  • The following list of suggested resources is intended as a starting point for further exploration, and is not in any way comprehensive. Some materials may not reflect the views of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

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  • 1. Ikerd JE. Sustaining the profitability of agriculture. In: Economist’s Role in the Agricultural Sustainability Paradigm. San Antonio, TX: University of Missouri; 1996. 2. MacDonald J, Korb P, Hoppe R. Farm Size and the Organization of U.S. Crop Farming. 2013. 3. Rifkin J. Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture. New York, New York: Plume; 1993. 4. Ikerd JE. Sustainin…

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