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Farm Crop Production Technicians

History

Until the early 20th century, crops were planted, maintained, and harvested by individual farmers. During harvest, farmers may have called upon the assistance of neighboring farmers or local work crews, but most aspects of crop production were handled by family members. The typical family farm was about 160 acres. Horses were used to power simple machinery that was repaired, and often built, by the farmers themselves. Although the family farm once stood as a symbol of independent living, the demands of agricultural production throughout the 20th century called upon the skills, talents, and labors of others.

Advances in equipment technology, methods of conservation, and pesticides and fertilizers led to more farm output, but also resulted in fewer family farms. By 1950, the average farm had grown greatly in size and needed to be highly efficient in order to turn a profit. Farm owners began to rely on outside assistance in crop production, and those with farm experience, but without their own farms, found new career opportunities in crop production assistance. Agribusiness developed in the 1960s to help farmers with the complicated process of managing a farm crop, from the selection of seed to the marketing of the final product. Today, technicians, engineers, scientists, conservationists, and government agencies work together to help farms stay profitable and produce crops for a global market.