Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Agriculture and Innovation

Agriculture and horticulture often get some bad publicity as being stuck in using ancient ideas and that people in these industries are old fuddy duddies without much innovation.

I would say that is probably the exact opposite of real world situations. Innovation is alive and very well in these two industries, and seems to have been around for well over a hundred years. While it is often true that farmers are older on average than the population, they still embrace new ideas.

Whether it has been mechanisation and machinery development, application of technology in plant breeding or use of new products including herbicides and pesticides, satellite navigation and related use in yield mapping of paddocks, driverless machinery, use of RFID systems for animal identification and management..............the list can go on, and on!!

This recent snippet reinforces the view that agriculture is VERY progressive, and has been for a very long time. I am sure that even today, the same story can be repeated about Australia, Canada, Brazil, and Argentine, as well as the USA.

February 1911 - Scientific American Magazine

Inventors and Farmers

“In all the history of empire building there is no chapter to compare with that which tells the story of the development of the great West from a vast stretch of prairie, desert and primeval forest into the richest and most extensive agricultural empire in the world.

The rapidity and completeness with which this transformation has been effected are chiefly due to the invention of agricultural machinery of wonderful precision and capacity. The mechanical engin­eer has at once simplified work and increased output from the farm.”

It is still taking place across all the major agricultural producing countries today.............2011!

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