Year Keyword Event  and Description
1100 ag * Plow A Iron plows with wheels will replace wooden plows in much of northern Europe in this century. Food will become more abundant as a result of such agricultural improvements, but France will nevertheless have 26 famines, and England will 
1400 ag * Econ E The rise of capitalism in the first half of this century will begin a 3-century advance in Europe’s agricultural technology. 
1701 ag * Plow A A seed-planting drill invented by Berkshire farmer Jethro Tull, 27, sows three parallel rows of seeds at once and will increase crop yields by reducing seed waste (see 1782; Swift, 1726). 
1774 ag * Ames Company K Bridgewater, Massachusetts, blacksmith John Ames uses bar iron to fabricate shovel blades that will replace the hand-hewn shovels and imported English shovels now used in America (see 1803). 
1784 ag * Plow A English farmers show little interest in an iron plow developed by inventor James Small, continuing to use wooden plows (see Wood, 1819).  
1786 ag * Reaper A Scottish millwright and agricultural engineer Andrew Meikle, 67, develops the first successful threshing machine. It rubs the grain between a rotating drum and a concave metal sheet, employing a basic principle that will be used in future threshing machines (see 1831). 
1792 ag * Whitney K Eli Whitney, 26, invents a cotton “gin” that will revolutionize the economies of the United States and Britain. Just out of Yale, the mechanical genius has been visiting at Mulberry Grove on the Savannah River, Georgia plantation of Katherine Greene, widow of Gen. Nathanael Greene, who died 6 years ago at age 43. She met Whitney aboard ship while he was en route to the Carolinas for a tutoring position, she has invited him to Mulberry Grove, and he has observed that upland short-staple cotton has green seeds that are difficult to separate from the lint, quite unlike the long-staple sea-island cotton whose black seeds are easily separated and which has long been a staple of American commerce. 
1803 ag * Shovel E The Ames Shovel Co. started by John Ames in 1774 is taken over by his son Oliver, who invests $1,600 to expand operations and moves the firm to Easton, Mass. Faced with little competition, Ames shovels will be the largest-selling 
1819 ag * Plow A An improved plow, patented by Cayuga County, N.Y., farmer Jethro Wood, 45, is constructed in several major pieces so that a farmer who breaks one part can replace it without having to buy a whole new plow. Other plowmakers will infringe on Wood’s patent, and many farmers will insist that cast-iron plows poison the soil and will refuse to give up their old wooden plows (see 1784; Deere, 1837). 
1826 ag * Reaper A The first workable reaper joins two triangular knives to two horizontal bars at the front of a machine that is pushed through a field of ripe grain by two horses. Scotsman Patrick Bell’s lower bar is fixed, while the upper bar is geared to the ground wheels to give it a reciprocal motion; revolving sails hold the grain to the knives while a canvas drum lays aside the stalks in a neat swath, but horses cannot see ahead, they resist pushing Bell’s reaper, it is difficult to turn, and will achieve only moderate success (see McCor-mick, 1831). 
1831 ag * Reaper A The McCormick reaper that enables one man to do the work of five is demonstrated by Virginia farmer Cyrus Hall
1833 ag * Reaper A A reaper patented by Cincinnati Quaker inventor Obed Hussey, 41, will rival the 1831 McCormick reaper and beat it to market. Hussey’s reaper will go into production next year and be snapped up by midwestern grain farmers; McCormick’s machine will not go into production until 1840 and will encounter resistance from farmers in hilly Virginia (but see 1847). 
1834 ag * Reaper A Cyrus McCormick receives a patent for his reaper of 1831 and Obed Hussey begins manufacturing his reaper (see 1833;
1837 ag * Plow A A self-polishing steel plow fashioned by Vermont-born blacksmith John Deere, 32, at Grand Detour, Ill., can break the heavy sod of the Illinois and Iowa prairie. Deere chisels the teeth off a discarded circular saw blade of Sheffield steel, creates a plow with the proper moldboard curve for breaking the sod, and saves farmers from having to pull their plows out of furrows for repeated cleaning with wooden paddles. The Deere plow will permit efficient farming in vast areas that have defied earlier efforts (see 1839). 
1837 ag * Reaper A The first steam-powered threshing machine, patented by Winthrop, Maine, inventors John A. Pitts and Hiram Abial Pitts, separates grain from its straw and chaff with far less effort than was heretofore required (see Case, 1843). 
1840 ag * Reaper A Manufacture of the McCormick reaper begins with improvements added by McCormick to his original 1831 machine (see 1834; 1847). 
1843 ag * Reaper A The J. I. Case threshing machine is introduced by former Oswego County, N.Y., farmer Jerome Increase Case, 24, who last year came West with six of the best threshing machines he could buy, sold five to prairie farmers, used the sixth to thresh wheat for farmers in Wisconsin, learned from experience the deficiencies of existing machines, and used money earned while learning to develop a superior machine. Case will build a factory at Racine, Wis., and develop a sales organization that will make J. I. Case the world’s largest thresher producer and a major manufacturer of farm steam engines, tractors, and other farm equipment (see 1837; 1908). 
1845 ag * Remington K The Ames & Co. arms factory at Springfield, Mass., is acquired by Eliphalet Remington, 53, who has been making rifles at Ilion, N.Y., since 1828 and will contract for government work (see Oliver Ames, 1803; Remington typewriter, 1874). 
1847 ag * Reaper A Obed Hussey introduces an improved version of his 1834 reaper, but he has moved his works to Baltimore and lacks the central geographical location (and capital) to compete successfully with McCormick. 
1847 ag * Reaper A Cyrus McCormick forms a partnership with C. M. Gray and builds a three-story brick reaper factory on the north bank of the Chicago River near Lake Michigan (see 1834). McCormick has rejected sites at Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, deciding that Chicago may still be a swamp but is receiving great tonnages of grain via William Ogden’s new Galena and Chicago Union Railroad and is clearly destined to become a grain transportation center (see 1848). 
1850 ag * Reaper A Cyrus McCormick buys out William Ogden for twice the $25,000 Ogden invested in McCormick’s Chicago reaper
1851 ag * Reaper A Cyrus McCormick exhibits his reaper at the London Great Exhibition, produces 6,000 reapers, and begins to enlarge
1869 ag * Plow A The first U.S. plow with a moldboard entirely of chilled steel is patented by James Oliver who has established the Oliver Chilled Plow Works (see 1855). 
1872 ag * Milk S Louis Pasteur publishes a classic paper on fermentation showing that it is caused by microorganisms. 
1884 ag * Navistar A Reaper magnate Cyrus McCormick dies March 13 at age 75, leaving a fortune of $200 million to his widow, four sons, and three daughters. His son Cyrus, Jr., 25, assumes the presidency of McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. (see International Harvester, 1902). 
1889 ag * Cotton A The first spindle-type cotton picking machine is tested by U.S. inventor Angus Campbell whose machine will not be developed and produced commercially for more than half a century (see Rust, 1927). 
1892 ag * Deere A The first successful U.S. gasoline tractor is produced by Waterloo, Iowa, farmer John Froelich who will organize Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co. early next year. John Deere Plow will acquire it (see 1902). 
1902 ag * Navistar A International Harvester is founded by Cyrus McCormick, Jr., who persuades J. P. Morgan to underwrite a trust that merges the four top U.S. harvesting machine makers. Charles Deering of William Deering & Co. is chairman of the board, McCormick president, and the company controls 85 percent of all U.S. reaper production (see 1884). 
1911 ag * Ag A U.S. inventor Benjamin Holt devises an improved combine that harvests, threshes, and cleans wheat (see 1904; 1905; Industrial Commission, 1901). 
1916 ag * Co. A Funk Brothers of Bloomington, Ill., ships the first hybrid seed corn to a Jacobsburg, Ohio, farmer. He pays $15 per bushel (see East and Shull, 1921; Golden Bantam, 1933). 
1927 ag * Cotton A The mechanical cotton picker perfected by Texas inventor John Daniel Rust, 35, and his 27-year-old brother Mack will have a profound social impact on the South when marketing of the machine begins in 1949 (see Campbell, 1889). The Rust cotton picker inserts a long spinning spindle with teeth into the cotton boll, winds up the cotton, picks it out, and is kept wet to facilitate removal of the cotton from the teeth. It picks a bale of cotton in one day, and it will spur migration of blacks to northern cities as it reduces the need for field hands (see 1949). 
1944 ag * Ag A A “Green Revolution” moves forward outside Mexico City as former E. I. du Pont plant pathologist Norman Borlaug,
1949 ag * Cotton A The Rust cotton picker of 1927 goes into mass production at Allis-Chalmers Corp. in Milwaukee and Ben Pearson, Inc.,
1954 ag * Ag A A breakthrough in wheat genetics achieved by University of Missouri plant geneticist Ernest Robert Sears, 44, does for wheat genetics what Russia’s Dmitri Mendeléev did for chemistry in 1870. Sears shows that specific chromosomes in wheat can be substituted to achieve desired changes, and he raises hopes for new hybrid wheat strains that will raise yields and will increase resistance to disease and drought. 
1955 ag * Ag A Dwarf indica rice, introduced into Taiwan (Formosa), is higher yielding than most varieties but requires lots of fertilizer
1962 ag * Ag A An International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is established in the Philippines at Los Baños with support from both the
1964 ag * Ag A High-yielding dwarf strains of indica rice are introduced on experimental basis under the names IR5 and IR8 by the
1965 ag * Ag A Dwarf Indica rice with higher per-acre yields is introduced in India, the Philippines, and other Asian nations (see Taiwan,
1968 ag * Ag A Improved IR-8 rice strains from the IRRI in the Philippines produce record yields in Asia (see 1962; 1964). But the
1968 ag * Ag A India’s wheat production is 50 percent above last year’s level as a result of intensive aid by Ford Foundation workers
1972 ag * Ag A Soviet grain buyers arrive in the United States in late June, find U.S. wheat for July delivery selling at $1.40 per bushel,