Farming with Cianna

Farming with Cianna

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Changes In Agriculture (Past 50 Years)

Farming and Agriculture are rapidly evolving and constantly being made better. From the machinery getting bigger and faster, to the science behind farming becoming more understood, all aspects of this method that keeps all of us alive, are very fast pace.
After doing research for Farming with Cianna's first interview, I realized so many things have changed. Before looking into it, I expected the farm rates to have went up and the machinery to have improved, but I was partially wrong! There has been so much more change than that!

Farm Sizes and Numbers
As mentioned before, I thought that the number of U.S. farms had risen in the past 50 years. You would think since there are more people, there would be more farms raising our food.Well, research proved me wrong. The number of running farms in the United States has dropped over 8% in the last 5 decades. With that being said, commercial farms have gotten over two times larger to produce more foods.
Since people are growing crops more efficiently, more plants on less land, there is no need for more farms.  Because those large farms can afford modern machinery, they do not employee nearly as many people as they did years ago.

Modern Machinery

Image result for tractor clip  art
In the mid 1800's, people were working on machines to make their jobs easier. By 1892, the first successful gasoline powered tractor was ran in Iowa. Being so cheap and small, the first tractor model interested many farmers, but it wasn't until 1953 that there were more tractors doing the farm work than horses and men. The first machines could do the work of 17 men and 50 horses.
Tractors and the machinery they pull are so much more efficient today than they were any number of years ago. Like my grandma mentioned in the interview, she would have to sit on the back of a truck and hold the rake down with her feet while her father was driving. Now, our machines not only till the ground, but they can dig, plant seeds, harvest plants, and so much more. Modern technology really has us spoiled!

Irrigation Improvements

All throughout history, farms have been settled along bodies of water for easy access. In the 1840's, when Mormons in Utah dammed the river in order to flood their fields to soften the soil, they discovered the real benefits of irrigation. Water produced thriving plant growth throughout the desert. Congress took this into consideration and ended up passing several law in the few after to assist farmers in making costly irrigation systems.

Now, of course, we don't have to worry about flooding our fields because we have efficient irrigation systems to water, although some farmers still do it that way. Though many people depend on the rain to water their crops, we have a back up way just in case of drought.

Use of Pesticides

In the mid 1800's, they started using pesticides to cure powdery mildew on grape plants. Tons of pesticides were created after the first one helped the plants. Paris green (contained arsenic) was introduced to control the potato beetle, which was an insect native to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains that rapidly ate potatoes grown by pioneers. By 1893, there were 42 known insecticides made by many manufacturers. These pesticides were around all through the 1900's.

Now, we know arsenic is poisonous to us, but many of the things they used in their pesticides were considered harmful to us today. They still use chemicals for pesticides on most of the food we eat today, but you also have the choice to go organic. Many people don't want to pay the price for the chemical-free food, which is sad because that's what the government planned. 
I found this awesome website that tells you what kind of pesticides are in the food you eat. It's really an eye-opener to see how many things have chemicals used on them. You really have no idea what they are doing to you. It's actually horrible that the government allows the amount of pesticides that they allow. Check it out:
"What's on my food" is presented by "Pesticide Action Network" or PAN. They protest the uses of pesticides. Check it out:


Growing crops is usually thought to be outdoors, in a field, but we have changed that. Now, people grow their plants in greenhouses or in buildings with UV lights. This new way of raising crops is very efficient because you are able to grow food through all seasons, hot or cold.
As time goes on, this method is getting more and more popular.

There have obviously been more changes in agriculture than the ones I have listed. Because people will probably never stop growing vegetables, fruits, and other foods, there will always be room for improvement. Farming is a way of life that will never stop evolving. Who knows what the future will bring!


  1. Thank you Cianna, for the information it sure is eye opening. Great job! So proud of you.