Chronological history by decade from
History of Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service
Blue=USDA research accomplishment
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British bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming was the first to note penicillin's antiobiotic action.
Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University.
Soil classification system developed.(more)
American Farm Bureau Federation formally organized.
Warner-Bratzler shear instrument developed to objectively measure meat tenderness.
Honeybee Act prohibited the importation of adult honeybees.
Developed a method for dusting cotton fields with calcium arsenate to protect cotton against boll weevil.(more)
First annual farm outlook conference held.
Congressional distribution of seeds discontinued.
Commercial hybrid seed corn developed. (more)
First planes designed specifically for crop-dusting operations in the Mississippi Delta.
President Coolidge appointed a nine-man President's agricultural conference.
Clarence Birdseye pioneered quick-freezing and frozen food. (more)
Three to 4 man-hours of labor required on 1 acre to produce 20 bushels of wheat.
Discovered that ethylene is the agent responsible for initiating fruit coloring in oranges.
Purnell Act authorized funds for research by agricultural experiment stations on economic and social problems of agriculture.
Successful light gasoline tractor invented.
First auxin, a plant hormone, discovered.
Targhee breed of sheep developed.
Federal beef grading initiated.
USDA conducted tests on methods for removing lead-arsenate spray residues from apples and pears to meet export tolerances.
Antibacterial properties of penicillin discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming. (more)
Soil erosion identified as serious threat to agricultural productivity. (more)
Capper-Ketcham Act provided extension work in agriculture and home economics for men, women, boys, and girls.
Buchanan Amendment provided first Congressional appropriation for soil erosion research by USDA. (more)
Wool Standards Act passed.
Future Farmers of America established.
Method developed for obtaining auxin.
Jersey highbush blueberry released.
Ten regional erosion experiment stations set up.
Growing plants in water, hydroponics, invented.
Mediterranean fruit fly discovered in Florida.
First airplane seeding of rice in California.
Showed that plants first inoculated with one virus are protected from infection of another closely related virus or a mild strain of the same virus, known as 'cross protection.
Send comments or questions about this historical timeline to Sean Adams.