Growing a Nation

Historical Timeline — 1970

Economic Cycles

1970-80
Inflation rates increase, while economic growth slows

 

 

 

 

Farm Economy

1972
Russian wheat sale brings higher farm prices

Farmers & the Land

1970
Total population: 204,335,000; farm population: 9,712,000; farmers 4.6% of labor force; Number of farms: 2.780, 000; average acres: 390

1972
Clean Water Act

 

 

Farm Machinery & Technology

1970-79
Commercial fertilizer use: 43,643,700 tons/year

1970s
No-tillage agriculture popularized

1970
One farmer supplies 47.7 persons (est.)

1975
2-3 labor-hours required to produce 100 pounds (1/5 acre) of lint cotton with tractor, 2-row stalk cutter, 20-foot disk, 4-row bedder and planter, 4-row cultivator with herbicide applicator, and 2-row harvester

3-3/4 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (3 acres) of wheat with tractor, 30-foot sweep disk, 27-foot drill, 22-foot self-propelled combine, and trucks; 3-1/3 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (1 1/8 acres) of corn with tractor, 5-bottom plow, 20-foot tandem disk, planter, 20-foot herbicide applicator, 12-foot self-propelled combine, and trucks

Crops & Livestock

1970
Plant Variety Protection Act; Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Borlaug for developing high-yielding wheat varieties

1972
Molecular biologist Paul Berg pioneers the techniques that make possible the transfer of genes from one strand of DNA to another

1975
Lancota wheat introduced

1978
Hog cholera officially eradicated

1979
Purcell winter wheat introduced

Transportation

1972-74
Russian grain sale causes massive tie-ups in rail system

Agricultural Trade & Development

1970-79
Agricultural exports: $19.8 billion/year or 19% of total exports

1971
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research organized to fund regional research institutes in developing countries

1972
I ncreased exports to Soviet Union and elsewhere absorb agricultural surpluses, especially of grains and oilseeds

1979
Grain embargo against the Soviet Union following its invasion of Afghanistan

Life on the Farm

1970s
Rural areas experience prosperity and immigration

1968
90% of all farms have phones; 98.6% have electricity

 

 

Farm Organizations & Movements

1970
7,994 cooperatives with 6.2 million members

1970
Earth Day is celebrated for the first time

1971
The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association is organized

1973
Fifty farmers organize California Certified Organic Farmers

1977
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is formed to protect endangered breeds of livestock

1979
The American Agriculture Movement organizes a "tractorcade" demonstration in Washington, DC

Agricultural Education & Extension

1970
853,000 students enrolled in agricultural courses

1974
Agreement between USDA and land-grant colleges establishes Council on International Science and Education

 

 

Government Programs & Policy

1970s
Surplus disposal through sales abroad leads to easing of production controls and great reliance on market prices

1970
Agricultural Act reduces controls; Environmental Quality Improvement Act

1972
Rural Development Act

1973
Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act emphasizes maintaining or increasing instead of controlling production

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