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A History of American Agriculture 1776-1990
Crops and Livestock
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16th-18th 
Centuries
16th century
Spanish cattle introduced into the Southwest
17th and 18th centuries
All forms of domestic livestock, except turkeys, were imported at some time
17th and 18th centuries
Crops borrowed from Indians included maize, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, gourds, squashes, watermelons, beans, grapes, berries, pecans, black walnuts, peanuts, maple sugar, tobacco, and cotton; white potatoes indigenous to South America
17th and 18th centuries
New U.S. crops from Europe included clover, alfalfa, timothy, small grains, and fruits and vegetables
17th and 18th centuries
African slaves introduced grain and sweet sorghum, melons, okra, and peanuts
18th centuries
Tobacco was the chief cash crop of the South
1776-99 1793
First Merino sheep imported
1795-1815
The sheep industry in New England was greatly emphasized
1800 1805-15
Cotton began to replace tobacco as the chief southern cash crop
1810-15
Demand for Merino sheep sweeps the country
1815-25
Competition with western farm areas began to force New England farmers out of wheat and meat production and into dairying, trucking, and, later, tobacco production
1815-30
Cotton became the most important cash crop in the Old South
1819
Secretary of Treasury instructed consuls to collect seeds, plants, and agricultural inventions
1820's
Poland-China and Duroc-Jersey swine were being developed, and Berkshire swine were imported
1821
Edmund Ruffin's first Essay on Calcareous Manures
1810
1820
1830 1836-62
Patent Office collected agricultural information and distributed seeds
1830's-1850's
Improved transportation to the West forced eastern staple growers into more varied production for nearby urban centers
1840 1840
Justos Liebig's Organic Chemistry appeared
1840-1850
New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio were the chief wheat States
1840-60
Hereford, Ayrshire, Galloway, Jersey, and Holstein cattle were imported and bred
1846
First herdbook for Shorthorn cattle
1849
First poultry exhibition in the United States
1850 1850's
Commercial corn and wheat belts began to develop; wheat occupied the newer and cheaper land west of the corn areas, and was constantly being forced westward by rising land values and the encroachment of the corn areas
1850's
Alfalfa grown on the west coast
1858
Grimm alfalfa introduced
1860 1860's
The Cotton Belt began to move westward
1860's
The corn Belt began stabilizing in its present area
1860
Wisconsin and Illinois were the chief wheat States
1866-86
The days of the cattlemen on the Great Plains
1870 1870's
Increased specialization in farm production
1870
Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio were the chief wheat States
1870
Foot-and-mouth disease first reported in the United States
1874-76
Grasshopper plagues serious in the West
1877
U.S. Entomological Commission established for work on grasshopper control
1880 1880's
The cattle industry moved into the western and southwestern Great Plains
1882
Bordeau mixture (fungicide) discovered in France and soon used in the United States
1882
Robert Koch discovered tubercle bacillus
Mid-1880's
Texas was becoming the chief cotton State
1886-87
Blizzards, following drought and overgrazing, disastrous to northern Great Plains cattle industry
1889
Bureau of Animal Industry discovered carrier of tick fever
1890 1890
Minnesota, California, and Illinois were the chief wheat States
1890
Babcock butterfat test devised
1892
Boll weevil crossed the Rio Grande and began to spread north and east
1892
Eradication of pleuropneumonia
1899
Improved method of anthrax inoculation
1900 1900-10
Turkey red wheat was becoming important as commercial crop
1900-20
Extensive experimental work was carried out to breed disease-resistant varieties of plants, to improve plant yield and quality, and to increase the productivity of farm animal strains
1903
Hog cholera serum developed
1904
First serious stem-rust epidemic affecting wheat
1910 1910
North Dakota, Kansas, and Minnesota were the chief wheat States
1910
Durum wheats were becoming important commercial crops
1910
35 States and territories required tuberculin testing of all entering cattle
1910-20
Grain production reached into the most arid sections of the Great Plains
1912
Marquis wheat introduced
1912
Panama and Colombia sheep developed
1917
Kansas red wheat distributed
1920 1926
Ceres wheat distributed
1926
First hybrid-seed corn company organized
1926
Targhee sheep developed
1930 1930-35
Use of hybrid-seed corn became common in the Corn Belt
1934
Thatcher wheat distributed
1934
Landrace hogs imported from Denmark
1938
Cooperative organized for artificial insemination of dairy cattle
1940 1940's and 1950's
Acreages of crops, such as oats, required for horse and mule feed dropped sharply as farms used more tractors
1945-55
Increased use of herbicides and pesticides
1947
United States began formal cooperation with Mexico to prevent spread of foot-and-mouth disease
1950 1955
Sterile flies used for screwworm control
1960 1960's
Soybean acreage expanded as farmers used soybeans as an alternative to other crops
1960
96% of corn acreage planted with hybrid seed
1961
Gaines wheat distributed
1966
Fortuna wheat distributed
1970 1970
Plant Variety Protection Act
1970
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Borlaug for developing high-yielding wheat varieties
1975
Lancota wheat introduced
1978
Hog cholera officially declared eradicate
1979
Purcell winter wheat introduced
1980-90 1980's
Biotechnology became a viable technique for improving crop and livestock products 
1883-84
Avian influenza of poultry eradicated before it spread beyond a few Pennsylvania counties
1986
Antismoking campaigns and legislation began to affect the tobacco industry
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