5. In Europe the industrial and agricultural revolutions spurred each other on
Had the agricultural revolution (see above) not happened then it is arguable that the industrial revolution would not have happened either, or at least not in the same way.
At the time of the revolutions Britain led the western world both in terms of agricultural science and in terms of industrial development. The enclosure acts created the situation that led, inexorably towards the industrial revolution.
When the fields were enclosed a large portion of people remained on the new, larger, farms to work as laborers but many, out of work and unable to grow their own food as a result of the new system, had to re-locate to the towns. This mass movement of people created a growing population that were available to work in the new factories including the textile mills which were made possible by the development of the cotton gin (see above).
At the same time as the enclosures threw people off the land the increased efficiency of the new agricultural techniques created enough surplus foods to feed a growing urban population. As the rest of the world saw the benefits both revolutions wrought in Britain they too followed suit.
4. Developments in the automobile industry helped farmers immeasurably
Even with the development of agricultural machines such as the seed drill and the thresher/binder agriculture was, for many years dependent on the physical labor of humans or animals. By 1850 developments in steam power had allowed people to develop a moving steam engine which could help with both threshing and plowing. While these engines were more efficient than horses they were also more expensive and prone to blowing up.
By the advent of the 20th Century, however, the gas powered car was a reality. It did not take long before a gasoline, as opposed to steam powered farming machine was postulated and by 1902 the first ever gas tractor was on the road in in the fields and by 1917 Ford in the US were retailing a tractor for under $400 making mechanization affordable for more and more farmers. Similar developments took place in other countries around the world. Suddenly farming was much easier, much less labor intensive than it had ever been as the tractor could be attached to any number of farming machines. Further developments included the introduction of rubber tires and diesel powered tractors in the 1930s.
3. From the moment farmers started to experiment with agriculture they have altered the crops they farm to make them more efficient
Ever since humans first gave up their nomadic lifestyle and settled in one place to farm crops in about 12,000 BC they have modified the crops and animals that they have farmed to make them more productive. Farmers looked for animals and plants that demonstrated admirable qualities such as high rates of milk production or bigger heads of grain on the grass and bred from those individuals to ensure that these traits were perpetuated and passed on to the next generation. The first domesticated crops, emmer and einkorn wheat were chosen by the early farmers because they had larger heads of seed compared with other local variants and because the seed stayed on the plant longer than average. Over the centuries these grasses were bred for desirable traits until the wheat today is very different with larger seed ears and smaller stalks when compared with the original plant. Carrots, which originally come from Afghanistan, were originally purple but were bred, over the years, to become the orange vegetables we are so familiar with. Similarly domestic cattle were originally much smaller with a lower milk yield.