History of agricultural science
Agricultural science began with Gregor Mendel's genetic work, but in modern terms might be better dated from the chemical fertilizer outputs of plant physiological understanding in eighteenth century Germany. In the United States, a scientific revolution in agriculture began with the Hatch Act of 1887, which used the term "agricultural science". The Hatch Act was driven by farmers' interest in knowing the constituents of early artificial fertilizer. The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 shifted agricultural education back to its vocational roots, but the scientific foundation had been built.1 After 1906, public expenditures on agricultural research in the US exceeded private expenditures for the next 44 years.2
Agronomy and the related disciplines of agricultural science today are very different from what they were before about 1950. Intensification of agriculture since the 1960s in developed and developing countries, often referred to as the Green Revolution, was closely tied to progress made in selecting and improving crops and animals for high productivity, as well as to developing additional inputs such as artificial fertilizers and phytosanitary products.
However, environmental damage due to intensive agriculture, industrial development, and population growth have raised many questions among agronomists and have led to the development and emergence of new fields (e.g., integrated pest management, waste treatment technologies, landscape architecture, genomics).
New technologies, such as biotechnology and computer science (for data processing and storage), and technological advances have made it possible to develop new research fields, including genetic engineering, improved statistical analysis, and precision farming.
- Robert Bakewell
- Luther Burbank
- George Washington Carver
- René Dumont
- Jay Lush
- Gregor Mendel
- Louis Pasteur
There are various universities around the United States which are renowned for their education of the agricultural sciences. Some of these universities include Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin State University, University of Idaho and many others.
- Hillison J. (1996). The Origins of Agriscience: Or Where Did All That Scientific Agriculture Come From?. Journal of Agricultural Education.
- Huffman WE, Evenson RE. (2006). Science for Agriculture. Blackwell Publishing.