Agricultural science is a broad multidisciplinary field that
encompasses the parts of exact,
natural, economic and social sciences that are used in the practice and understanding of agriculture. (Veterinary science, but not animal science, is often excluded from the definition.) Agriculture and agricultural
science The two terms are often confused.
However, they cover different
concepts: Agriculture is the set of activities that transform the
environment for the production
of animals and plants for
human use. Agriculture
concerns techniques, including
the application of agronomic research. Agronomy is research and development related to studying and improving plant-
based agriculture. Agricultural sciences include
research and development on: Production techniques (e.g., irrigation management, recommended nitrogen inputs) Improving agricultural productivity in terms of quantity and quality (e.g.,
selection of drought-resistant crops and animals,
development of new pesticides, yield-sensing technologies,
simulation models of crop
growth, in-vitro cell culture techniques) Transformation of primary
products into end-consumer products (e.g., production,
preservation, and packaging of dairy products) Prevention and correction of
adverse Agricultural science: a local
science With the exception of theoretical agronomy, research in agronomy, more than in any other field, is
strongly related to local areas. It
can be considered a science of ecoregions, because it is closely linked to soil properties and climate, which are never exactly the same from one place to
another. Many people think an
agricultural production system
relying on local weather, soil characteristics, and specific crops
has to be studied locally. Others
feel a need to know and
understand production systems in
as many areas as possible, and the
human dimension of interaction with nature. History of agricultural science Main article: History of agricultural science Agricultural science began with Gregor Mendel's genetic work, but in modern terms might be better
dated from the chemical fertilizer outputs of plant physiological understanding in eighteenth
century Germany.[citation needed] In the United States, a scientific
revolution in agriculture began
with the Hatch Act of 1887, which used the term "agricultural
science". The Hatch Act was driven
by farmers' interest in knowing
the constituents of early artificial
fertilizer. The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 shifted agricultural education
back to its vocational roots, but
the scientific foundation had been built.[1] After 1906, public expenditures on agricultural
research in the US exceeded
private expenditures for the next 44 years.[2]:xxi Intensification of agriculture since
the 1960s in developed and developing countries, often referred to as the Green Revolution, was closely tied to progress made in selecting and
improving crops and animals for
high productivity, as well as to
developing additional inputs such
as artificial fertilizers and phytosanitary products. As the oldest and largest human
intervention in nature, the
environmental impact of
agriculture in general and more
recently intensive agriculture, industrial development, and
population growth have raised
many questions among
agricultural scientists and have led
to the development and
emergence of new fields. These include technological fields that
assume the solution to
technological problems lies in
better technology, such as integrated pest management, waste treatment technologies, land scape architecture, genomics, and agricultural philosophy fields that include references to food production as something essentially different from non-
essential economic 'goods'. In fact,
the interaction between these two
approaches provide a fertile field
for deeper understanding in
agricultural science. New technologies, such as biotechnology and computer science (for data processing and storage), and technological
advances have made it possible to
develop new research fields,
including genetic engineering, agrophysics, improved statistical analysis, and precision farming. Balancing these, as above, are the
natural and human sciences of
agricultural science that seek to
understand the human-nature
interactions of traditional agriculture, including interaction of religion and agriculture, and the non-material components of
agricultural production systems.

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