Agriculture

Rake in a soil plot with saplings planted nearby

Agriculture is the practice and science of cultivating land and raising crops, animals and fungi to sustain human life. Agriculture is practiced for a variety of purposes including raising animals and crops for food, textiles, fiber and biofuel. The terms "farming" and "agriculture" are closely related.

Agricultural practices first arose 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. At that time, humans began developing and implementing irrigation, domestication, crop rotation and fertilization. During the Middle Ages, Muslims greatly expanded upon these practices by developing farming machines, writing farming manuals, and bringing crops to Europe. With the advent of steam power and pragmatic farming techniques, the Industrial Revolution expanded the size, scope, technology and productivity of farms. This paved the way for major strides in agricultural advancement in the 19th and 20th centuries.  

About 2 million people now farm or ranch in the U.S., working on average 200 days per year. As time has passed since the Green Revolution of the mid- to late 1900s, sustainable farming practices have been emphasized and implemented more and more. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tomatoes tasted much better 100 years ago. Can their flavor be restored?

Why are we feeding cows Skittles?

Earthworms do double-duty at Fetzer Vineyards

What does that chocolate label mean?

9 wooly facts about darling babydoll sheep

Comestible: Food journal examines big issues through the lens of food

Ant colonies discovered farming their own fruit crops

Demand for high-end honey prompts beehive crime wave

Would you buy fresh veggies grown in a Target store?

Desert farm grows 180,000 tomato plants using only sun and seawater

Grow food, not grass, to fight climate change

Popular pesticides cause major damage to bees, new study shows

SPONSORED