Humanity has witnessed advances in science and technology in the field of agriculture throughout the eras. Modern equipment and tools were introduced every time the agriculture industry needed a boost in production. From the early hoes to the modern global positioning systems, the technology has affected agriculture in several ways.
Scientific researches and innovations are being applied to every field of practical activity which does not leave the agriculture alone. Applied science, much like engineering, is helping the agriculture industry in finding more productive ways of farming. Today there are different aspects of agriculture where science is getting recognized, such as:
- Soil science which deals with soil formation, chemical properties of soil, and the factors that can boost the fertility of the soil.
- Plant production which covers plant physiology, breeding, nutrition, weed control, pest control, and other plant diseases.
- Animal production, which is treating several problems, including animal breeding, nutrition, and animal husbandry.
- Economics of agriculture and management.
Even though science is benefitting the agricultural industry, it is not replacing the old traditional methods. It can only help in rationalizing the methods and making it more systematic and efficient. Some of the aspects of traditional agriculture is still believed as irrational by science, and yet the farmers use them. Many times it also happens that the scientists rush out with the solutions that are ineffective in the real-life conditions. It again makes the traditional agricultural methods stand ahead of science.
While agriculture and science are working together, many still believe that agriculture cannot be taught with a complete scientific approach. However, many sectors in traditional agriculture seek help from scientific methods.
With the increase in population, more and more fertile land will be necessary to grow food for everyone. But as the fertile land continues to run out for the growing population, new researches in science can help in making the barren land fertile without any disastrous outcomes. Also, new methods of growing food throughout the year will be needed in future.
With the increase of urban areas and reduction of the agricultural lands, the urban population is unable to grow food for their own. The cities rely on the foods produced by the nearby rural areas. If land and agricultural labour becomes scarce, new changes will be needed for farmers to grow crops more efficiently. Science will provide new methods, machines, and storage facilities to continue the production.
Many industries also need raw materials from plants for their processes. Sugar cane is used for making sugar, beer, cotton is used for making cloth, sisal is used for making ropes and mats, and cocoa for chocolate. All these many many more raw materials from plants are used by different industries to make their products. The industrial activity also pushes agriculture to its limits. These limits can be controlled with the right applied science.