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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

ARS Research Timeline - 1920s

Title: ARS Timeline...144 Years of Ag Research

Chronological history by decade from
the creation of USDA in 1862 until 2000

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History of Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service
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Blue=USDA research accomplishment


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photo of Sir Alexander Fleming

British bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming was the first to note penicillin's antiobiotic action.




photo of soil erosion

Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University.

 

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1920s

1920
Of gainfully employed persons, 27 percent were engaged in agriculture.

Soil classification system developed.(more)

American Farm Bureau Federation formally organized.

Warner-Bratzler shear instrument developed to objectively measure meat tenderness.

1921
Field of population genetics in animal breeding founded.

1922
Capper-Volstead Act provided legal status for agricultural cooperatives.

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)

1923
Tobacco mosaic virus isolated; established that viruses cause many plant diseases.

First annual farm outlook conference held.

Congressional distribution of seeds discontinued.

Commercial hybrid seed corn developed. (more)

1924
Magness-Taylor pressure tester invented to measure fruit ripeness.

First planes designed specifically for crop-dusting operations in the Mississippi Delta.

President Coolidge appointed a nine-man President's agricultural conference.

1925
Tennessee outlawed teaching evolution in school; Scopes trial held in Dayton, TN.

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.

1926
USDA began inspection of live poultry.

Successful light gasoline tractor invented.

First auxin, a plant hormone, discovered.

Targhee breed of sheep developed.

1927
U.S. National Arboretum established by Congress.

Federal beef grading initiated.

USDA conducted tests on methods for removing lead-arsenate spray residues from apples and pears to meet export tolerances.

1928
Bouquets carried on Graf Zeppelin's first transatlantic flight showed the role air travel could play in transporting insect pests and plant diseases.
(more)

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.

1929
Great Depression began.

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.’

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Send comments or questions about this historical timeline to Sean Adams.

 

Last Modified: 6/6/2008
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