How has technology affected agriculture?


Quick Answer

Technology has led to tractors and other vehicles that allow fewer farmers to handle much larger fields. Pesticides prevent a significant amount of crop loss due to weeds and insects, and advanced genetic engineering has led to far better crop yields.

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Full Answer

Mechanization's impact on agriculture is significant. Instead of having to till entire fields by hand, farmers use larger machines that get the job done in a fraction of the time. Machines also water entire fields as well, which keeps crops growing even when there is not enough rainfall. While some crops still need to be picked by hand, others like wheat can be collected by machine.

In the past, an invasion of pests could spell doom for an entire crop, which often resulted in starvation. The use of pesticides has made the farming yield far more predictable. In addition, farmers are better able to handle weeds thanks to modern chemicals. These technologies lowered the price of food significantly.

Farmers have used genetic engineering through selective breeding since the advent of farming, but modern technology makes genetic engineering far more precise. Hybrid seeds improve crop yields by a factor of two or three in certain situations, and scientists can even insert beneficial genes from other species directly into a plant's DNA.

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