Oxen and horses for power, crude wooden plows, all sowing by hand, cultivating by hoe, hay and grain cutting with sickle, and threshing with flail
Charles Newbold patents first cast-iron plow
Jethro Wood patents iron plow with interchangeable parts
John Lane manufactures plows faced with steel saw blades
John Deere and Leonard Andrus begin manufacturing steel plows; practical threshing machine patented
Factory-made agricultural machinery increases farmers’ need for cash and encourages commercial farming. First fertilizers sold commercially.
Irrigation begun in Utah
Two-horse straddle-row cultivator patented
Change from hand power to horses characterizes the first American agricultural revolution
Gang plows and sulky plows come into use
Steam tractors are tried out
Spring-tooth harrow for seedbed preparation appears
Agriculture becomes increasingly mechanized and commercialized
George Washington Carver of Tuskegee Institute finds new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, helping to diversify southern agriculture
The first business devoted exclusively to making tractors is established
Big open-geared gas tractors introduced in areas of extensive farming
Smith-Lever Extension Act passed setting up a national extension farm service, still active today.
Small prairie-type combine with auxiliary engine introduced
Farm production gradually grows from expanded use of mechanized power
All-purpose, rubber-tired tractor with complementary machinery popularized
Change from horses to tractors and increasing technological practices characterize the second American agricultural revolution; productivity per acre begins sharp rise
Organic chemicals are found to help protect plants against certain deficiencies
Number of tractors on farms exceeds the number horses and mules for the first time
No-tillage agriculture popularized
More farmers use no-till or low-till methods to curb erosion
After several slow years, the sale of farm equipment rebounds; more farmers begin to use low-input sustainable agriculture (LISA) techniques to reduce chemical applications.
Information technology and precision techniques increasingly used in agriculture
Farmers begin using satellite technology to track and plan their farming practices. The user of conservation tillage methods, which leave crop residues in the field to combat erosion, continues to rise. Farm Bureau celebrates its 75th anniversary. U.S. Congress approves General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), helping liberalize world trade.
Tractors guided by an internal GPS and a stored map of the field become prevalent, allowing for more precision, efficiency and cost savings.
Even though most U.S.A. peanut farms are family-owned and operated, today’s farmer integrates the latest in precision agriculture, crop and digital technology, new machinery and agricultural software to help manage the farming business.