The history of agriculture is basically the history of civilization, and it's all powered by machinery, both simple and complex. In this quiz, we'll test your knowledge of ag machinery, with a bit of agricultural history on the side! Let's get plowing.
Before agricultural machinery came around, farmers had to use simple tools and animals to help them get things done. Things got a lot easier once machinery was invented.
Today, irrigation is performed by tube pumps and sprays. In the past, good old watering cans served that purpose.
Seeders are considered the foundation of all good farming. Nothing happens until you get those seeds into the land!
Tractors are a fundamental tool for all farmers. They're used for pulling, pushing, towing and drawing. More of that anon!
Tractors are the king of the farm. They're used for pulling seed drills. Seed drills expertly place grain and vegetable seeds into the earth. Tossing them around just won't do anymore.
The chisel plow can serve a number of different functions. It prepares the earth for cultivation. It also combines land and surface deposits such as manure.
A row planter does just what its name suggests. This is used to distribute seeds into rows. The tractor pulls this device along the fields.
The sprayer is another fundamental component in farming. It sprays pesticide and fertilizer on the fields, blanketing the entire area.
Most of the farming equipment that we see today came about in the Industrial Revolution. There have been a lot of innovations since then, but the basic foundation was laid during that remarkable period.
Tractors are the largest of all agricultural equipment. They perform so many functions on the farm, because various implements can be attached to the tractor, allowing it to do specialized jobs.
If you have a lot of digging to do, get yourself a backhoe. The first backhoe was developed by the Wain-Roy Corporation in the 1940s.
Smaller tractors, such as garden tractors, are used for fertilizing. They're also great for trimming and cutting grasses.
Before the seed drill, only a fraction of seeds were successfully planted. The seed drill put an end to all that, by not only drilling the seeds into the land but also covering them in soil.
The combine does just what its name suggests. It performs multiple tasks on the farm, such as reaping, threshing and winnowing.
The old combine was carried around the field by horses. Today, the combine is carried by a tractor.
A tractor sprayer is the best option when you want to spray liquid very quickly. A good sprayer is important for proper pest control.
Before the 18th century, farmers used simple moldboard plows. These were made of wood, but they were plated with thin iron strips to prevent them from wearing out.
The plowwright was responsible for making plows back in the day - and some still make repairs today. It was an important and specialized job, as the plow was the most important bit of equipment in the field.
In 1807, the first plow was patented by David Peacock of New Jersey. It used cast-iron moldboard and wrought-iron, making the plow easy to repair.
John Deere is a famous name in agriculture. He was from Grand Detour, Illinois, and he made a plow that cut through thick sod and heavy prairie soil.
John Deere's first plow was known as the singing plow, because of the humming sound that it made when you pulled it. It was music to a farmer's ears.
Wheat farmers in California and Red River Valley of North Dakota began using sulky plows. These were used in order to cultivate massive amounts of wheat.
Crop rotation is the practice of planting different crops in a field in successive seasons, to maintain or improve soil quality.
The grain drill played a huge role in agricultural innovation. Finally, it was possible to desposit seeds in an efficient and successful way.
Farmers would use either a dibbler or a hoe to plant corn by hand. The corn planter was eventually invented in 1864 by John Thompson and John Ramsay of Illinois.
It was in the 20th century that check-row planters were replaced by drills to plant corn. This made the process much easier and faster.
The reaper is a modern device that cuts small grain crops. Before, this was done by hand using a sickle or scythe. Only a few acres could be harvested per day with that method.
In the 1850s, a machine was invented in order to bind grain. The machine had a mechanism that wrapped wire around the gavel of grain and placed the bundle on the ground so that it was ready for shocking.
The threshing machine is used to separate the grain from the plants. Threshing machines date back to 1791, when the first was invented by Samuel Mulliken of Philidelphia.
Plows were first invented in the Middle East, soon after agriculture began. The first plow was known as an ard, and it was made of tree branches.
The Mesopotamians built the first simple irrigation system around 7000 B.C. This would prove to be a fundamental first step toward a world fed by agriculture.
The first all-purpose tractor was created in the 1920s. Before that, simple tractors were used for pulling plows.
Large trees are often planted around fruit farms. This prevents soil erosion from wind. Just a little factoid.
The earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants took place in the Fertile Crescent. It has that name for a reason!
Beef production is the largest segment of American agriculture. The U.S. produces more beef than any other country in the world, followed by Brazil.