Agricultural chemistry deals with other vital farm problems, such as uses of fertilizer, insecticide, and fungicide, soil makeup, analysis of agricultural products, and nutritional needs of farm animals.Plant breeding and genetics contribute immeasurably to farm productivity.Regional and national agriculture are covered in more detail in individual continent and country articles. Modern agriculture depends heavily on engineering and technology and on the biological and physical sciences.
The importance of an individual country as an exporter of agricultural products depends on many variables.
Among them is the possibility that the country is too little developed industrially to produce manufactured goods in sufficient quantity or technical sophistication.
The dates of domesticated plants and animals vary with the regions, but most predate the 6th millennium bc, and the earliest may date from 10,000 bc.
Scientists have carried out carbon-14 testing of animal and plant remains and have dated finds of domesticated sheep at 9000 bc in northern Iraq; cattle in the 6th millennium bc in northeastern Iran; goats at 8000 bc in central Iran; pigs at 8000 bc in Thailand and 7000 bc in Thessaly; onagers, or asses, at 7000 bc in Jarmo, Iraq; and horses at 4350 bc in Ukraine.
According to the FAO, world agricultural production, stimulated by improving technology, reached a record high in the late 1980s.
Further, agricultural output in developing nations increased 41 percent during the 1977-88 period, as compared to a rise of 9 percent in developed countries.
Airplanes and helicopters are employed in agriculture for such purposes as seeding, transporting perishable products, and fighting forest fires, and in spraying operations involved in insect and disease control.
Radio and television disseminate vital weather reports and other information that is of concern to farmers.
Fruits, vegetables, and olives are also major foods for people; feed grains for animals include soybeans, field corn, and sorghum.