Tull's seed drill
1701 the agriculturalist Jethro Tull applied science to
farming and invented the seed drill.
Tull (1674-1741) was one of a group of agriculturalists who revolutionised
farming. Part of a group that founded the 'Norfolk system'
their improvements to farming included introducing new crops to
England and bringing science to stock-breeding.
feature of the new farming methods was the cultivation of
turnips and potatoes.
Tull and Lord Townshend popularized the importance of root crops
at "Turnip" Townshend's estate in Raynham, Norfolk.
Tull's most original contributions were the seed drill and horse
hoe. Tull's seed drill made sowing more economical and yielded
greater amount of crops. In the past, farmers would scatter their
seed by hand which was wasteful because many failed to take root.
The seed drill allowed farmers to sow seeds in well-spaced rows
at specific depths.
Tull lived between 1674-1741. He studied and trained as a barrister
at Oxford, but took up agriculture around 1700. He published 'Horse-Hoeing
Husbandry' in 1733.
Tull also developed a plough with blades set in such a way
that grass and roots were pulled up and left on the surface to dry.
Today's plough owes much to Tull's original design.
Museum of Rural Life
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