About 335 bce potential cropland in China was so expansive that the philosopher Mencius wrote, “If farmers stations are not interfered with, will be more grain on the earth that can be consumed.” By the 1st century BC, however, it moors were being claimed for farming, and there was a demand for shorter latifundia.
About 9 ce the first (unsuccessful) attempt was made to “nationalize” the land and distribute it among the peasants. At the end of the second century ce, serious agrarian crises usually result in the downfall of the ruling dynasty had become a recurring theme of the story. Through the centuries, then, much of China’s agriculture has been characterized by a struggle to raise more and more food.
By the fourth century CE, cultivation was more intensive in China than in Europe or elsewhere in Asia. The main grain producing region and elsewhere, however, were changing rapidly from the surface of wheat and millet in the North China Plain to the rice fields of the lower Yangtze valley. In the eighth century the lower Yangtze was exporting huge quantities of grain in the old northwest through a unified system of canals linking the major rivers system.
By about 1100 ce the population of southern China probably had tripled, while across the country may have exceeded 100 million. Accordingly, the culture was intense, with a family room 10, for example, in a farm of a 14-acre (5.6 ha). Again, more new lands were opened to cultivation. Even tanks, ponds, reservoirs, streams and creeks were recovered for conversion to farms. At the same time, the complex water powered machinery began to be used for pumping irrigation water to the fields, to drain them, and for threshing and grinding grain. Improving a variety of field instruments and complicated also employed; these are described and illustrated in agricultural literature days.
Tools and Techniques
The first significant revolution in agricultural technology occurred when China became available iron agricultural tools for the Chinese peasantry. The oldest iron plow found in northern Henan dates from the period of the Warring (475-221 BC) Kingdoms and is a piece of iron in the form of flat V must have been mounted on wooden blades and handles. It was small, and there is evidence that draft animals were used. Cattle-drawn plows not appear until the 1st century BC.
Several improvements and innovations, such as plowing three shared the louli (plow-and-sow) implement, and the stands were developed later. At the end of the Song Dynasty in 1279, China’s agricultural engineering had reached a high degree of development.
Common farmers continued to use these techniques medieval to modern times. Their unfenced fields were cultivated by a wooden plow, with or without a share of cast iron to be attracted by a water buffalo. The harvest was sickle or pruning knife (a cutting tool consisting of a blade with a hook point provided with a handle). Pulleys made from the field were hung on the ends of a stick on the shoulders of one person. The grain is threshed by beating in a frame of slats or flails on the ground. Winnowing was carried out by shaking the grain in the wind. The husked rice pounding in a mortar or mill hand made hand. Irrigation techniques varied. The most common perhaps it was a bomb square-pallet chain of wood with a radial foot operated pedal. Fields were drained by open ditches and dikes. Night soil, oil cakes and the ashes fertilize the soil.
During the last millennium, the revolution in Chinese agriculture was not in the mechanical or chemical technology, but rather in the biological sphere: in crops, farming systems and land use. Under increasing population pressure, the culture was forced to become more labor and also to expand into sandy loams, barren hills and the tops of the high mountains. A lack of major technological inventions, the Chinese peasant had to expand acreage by finding suitable crops for the lower land.