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Chronology of the Agricultural Revolution : Key

Agriculture

 

Robert Bakewell (1725-1795)

Robert Bakewell

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Robert Bakewell introduced selective breeding programmes to improve the quality of the animals. Bakewell crossed different breeds of sheep to select their best characteristics. At the time, this was known as "breeding in and in". His experiments in selective breeding of sheep produced the Dishley, or New Leicester breed in 1755.

This sheep had long, coarse wool and produced a high quality and yield of meat. Bakewell also experimented with breeds of cattle. In 1769, he produced the Longhorn; a breed that was a good meat producer but gave a poor milk yield. Bakewell was also the first to hire his animals out for stud. His farm, in Dishley, Leicestershire, became a model of scientific management.

Bakewell was one of the first to breed both cattle and sheep for their meat value. Before his breeding programme, these animals were kept for either wool and milk production or for working on the farm. The result of selective breeding was livestock with more market value.

 

 

HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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Chronology of the Agricultural Revolution 1701 - 1786

1700

The weather improved producing the first good harvest for seven years. The amount of enclosed land accelerated.

1701

Jethro Tull developed the seed drill and the horse-drawn hoe.

1700

1721

Broccoli was introduced into England as a crop for the first time.

1720

1730

The weather brought very good harvests for the newt ten years. Charles Townsend introduced Four Year Crop Rotation from Holland.

1731

Tull published his book "Horse Hoeing Husbandry" (Revised in 1733).

1730

1755

Robert Bakewell produced Leicester sheep by selective breeding methods.

1750

1760

Agriculture was revolutionised by enclosures and new innovations.

1766

The chemist, Henry Cavendish, experimented with electric charges to turn nitrogen gas into nitrate salts. His experiments had great significance for the future production of artificial fertilizer.

1769

Bakewell produced Longhorn cattle by selective breeding.

1760

1770

Potatoes were grown for sale for the first time in England.

1772

Thomas Coke began his selective breeding experiments

1770

1780

By this time the better agricultural methods used in England had taken effect. Most of the rest of Europe was still medieval in its farming techniques.

1782

Tull's seed drill was improved by adding gears to the rotary mechanism.

1783

The first plough making factory in England was opened.

1784

Small developed an iron plough

1786

Scottish agricultural engineer, Andrew Meikle, developed a threshing machine. The grain was rubbed between a metal drum and a concave metal sheet.

1780

 

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