​67  Interesting  Facts  about  Farming VISIT  RANDOM HISTORY (51-67)

51)  The  phrase  “buy  the  farm”  is  WWII slang  meaning  to  die  or  get  killed.

52)  Owning  and  controlling  a  farm  has  historically  been  linked  to  status  and  power,  especially  in  Medieval  European agrarian  societies.  Farm  ownership  has  also  been  historically  linked  to  types  of  government  (feudalism,  democracy, etc.).

53)  The  Dust  Bowl  forced  tens  of  thousands  of  farmers,  known  as  Oakies,  to  leave  their  farms.  The  Dust  Bowl  exodus was  the  largest  migration  in  American  history.

54)  In  1830,  it  took  about  250  to  300  labor  hours  to  produce  100  bushels  (5  acres)  of  wheat.  In  1975,  it  took  just  3¾ hours.

55)  In  1890-99  the  average  consumption  of  commercial  fertilizer  was  1,845,900  tons  per  year.  From  1980-89  it  was 47,411,166  tons  per  year.

56)  In  1954,  the  number  of  tractors  on  farms  surpassed  the  number  of  horses  and  mules  for  the  first  time.

57)  Henry  A.  Wallace  (October  7,  1888—November  18,  1965)  was  Secretary  of  Agriculture  and  supported  government intervention  in  farming  practices.  For  example,  he  ordered  slaughtering  pigs  and  plowing  up  cotton  fields  in  rural America  to  help  increase  the  price  of  these  commodities  in  order  to  help  the  economic  situation  of  American farmers.

58)  Fritz  Haber  (December  1868—January  1934)  co-developed  with  Carl  Bosch  the  process  of  ammonia  synthesis, which  is  known  today  as  the  “Haber  Synthesis.”  While  his  work  led  to  the  production  of  nitrogen  fertilizer,  which  has helped  to  feed  billions  of  people  (the  entire  global  population,  in  fact),  he  also  contributed  to  human  destruction  with his  involvement  in  chemical  agents  during  WWI .

59)  Cyrus  McCormick  is  considered  the  “Father  of  Modern  Agriculture.”  He  invented  the  world’s  first  mechanical reaper  in  1831,  which  helped  replace  manpower  for  machine  power  to  harvest  crops.  His  invention  is  often  cited  as key  in  the  westward  expansion  of  the  United  States.  Jo  Anderson,  a  slave,  also  worked  with  McCormick  to  develop  the mechanical  reaper.

60)  Eli  Whitney’s  (1765—1825)  invention  of  the  cotton  gin  catapulted  the  rise  of  cotton  production  in  the  Deep  South which,  some  historians  note,  led  to  an  increase  in  slavery  and  contributed  to  slavery  issues.

61)  Most  concerns  about  genetically  modified  crops  fall  into  three  categories:

  • environmental  hazards
  • human health  risks
  • economic  concerns

62)  Monsanto  Company  is  the  leading  producer  of  genetically  engineered  (GE)  seed.

63)  In  2012,  17  million  farmers  in  28  countries  planted  170  million  hectares  of  biotech  crops.

64)  Total  global  cropland  amounts  to  roughly  1.5  billion  hectares.  Genetically  modified  organisms  (GMOs)  make  up more  than  11%  of  all  cropland  in  the  world.

65)  The  United  States,  Brazil,  Argentina,  Canada ,  and  India plant  most  of  the  GMO  cropland.  More  than  152  million  of the  world’s  170  million  GMO  hectares  are  found  in  these  five  countries.

66)  The  four  major  biotech  crops  in  2012  were  soybean,  cotton,  maize,  and  canola.

67)  Research  suggests  that  the  increased  use  of  herbicide  designed  to  work  with  GMOs  (and  vice  versa)  are  starting to  create  “superweeds”  that  resist  chemicals.

For facts: 1-1011-2020-3030-4040-50.

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