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Jethro Tull (1674-1741)


Jethro Tull invented the seed drill (in 1701), the horse-drawn hoe, and an improved plough. Tull was educated at Oxford, England where studied law, he later studied agriculture during his travels across Europe. Jethro Tull inherited land in the southern part of England where he put into practice his study of agriculture.

His seed drill would sow seed in uniform rows and cover up the seed in the rows. Up to that point, sowing seeds was done by hand by scattering seeds on the ground. Tull considered this method wasteful since many seeds did not take root. The first prototype seed drill was built from the foot pedals of Jethro Tull's local church organ.

Jethro Tull was part of a group of farmers who founded the Norfolk system, an early attempt to apply science to farming. In 1731, Jethro Tull published "The New Horse Houghing Husbandry: or, an Essay on the Principles of Tillage and Vegetation".

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