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Agricultural science (or agriscience for short[1]) is a broad multidisciplinary field of biology that encompasses the parts of exact, natural, economic and social sciences that are used in the practice and understanding of agriculture. Professionals of the agricultural science are called agricultural scientists or agriculturists.


Main article: History of agricultural science

In the 18th century, Johann Friedrich Mayer conducted experiments on the use of gypsum (hydrated calcium sulphate) as a fertilizer.[2]

In 1843, John Bennet Lawes and Joseph Henry Gilbert began a set of long-term field experiments at Rothamsted Research in England, some of which are still running as of 2018.[3][4][5]

In the United States, a scientific revolution in agriculture began with the Hatch Act of 1887, which used the term "agricultural science".[6][7] 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.[8] For the next 44 years after 1906, federal expenditures on agricultural research in the United States outpaced private expenditures.[9]: xxi 

Prominent agricultural scientists

Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution.

Fields or related disciplines


Agriculture, agricultural science, and agronomy are often confused.[by whom?] However, they cover different concepts:

Soil forming factors and soil degradation

Agricultural sciences include research and development on:[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ "Agriscience | Meaning & Definition for UK English". Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press via Lexico. Archived from the original on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  2. ^ John Armstrong, Jesse Buel. A Treatise on Agriculture, The Present Condition of the Art Abroad and at Home, and the Theory and Practice of Husbandry. To which is Added, a Dissertation on the Kitchen and Garden. 1840. p. 45.
  3. ^ "The Long Term Experiments". Rothamsted Research. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Fertilizer History: The Haber-Bosch Process". 19 November 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Lawes and Gilbert: an unlikely Victorian agricultural partnership". Harpenden History. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  6. ^ "The Hatch Act of 1887". National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Hatch Act of 1887". College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  8. ^ Hillison J. (1996). The Origins of Agriscience: Or Where Did All That Scientific Agriculture Come From? Archived 2 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Journal of Agricultural Education.
  9. ^ Huffman WE, Evenson RE. (2006). Science for Agriculture. Blackwell Publishing.
  10. ^ Bosso, Thelma (2015). Agricultural Science. Callisto Reference. ISBN 978-1-63239-058-5.
  11. ^ Boucher, Jude (2018). Agricultural Science and Management. Callisto Reference. ISBN 978-1-63239-965-6.

Further reading