Mechanized agriculture is the process of using agricultural machinery to mechanize the work of agriculture, greatly increasing farm worker productivity. In modern times, powered machinery has replaced many jobs formerly carried out by men or animals such as oxen, horses and mules.
The history of agriculture contains many examples of tool use, but only in recent time has the high rate of machine use been at such a level.
The first pervasive mechanization of agriculture came with the introduction of the plough, usually powered by animals. It was invented in ancient Mesopotamia.
Current mechanized agriculture includes the use of Tractors, trucks, combine harvesters, airplanes (crop dusters), helicopters, and other vehicles. Modern farms even sometimes use computers in conjunction with satellite imagery and GPS guidance to increase yields.
Mechanization was one of the factors responsible for urbanization and industrial economies. Besides improving production efficiency, mechanization encourages large scale production and improves the quality of farm produce. On the other hand, it displaces unskilled farm labor, causes environmental pollution, deforestation and erosion.
Jethro Tull's seed drill (ca. 1701) was a mechanical seed spacing and depth placing device that increased crop yields and saved seed. It was an important factor in the British Agricultural Revolution.
Agriculture in Poland has always been an important part of the country's economy. Of the 18,727,000 hectares of agricultural land (about 60 percent of Poland's total area), 14,413,000 hectares were used for crop cultivation, 265,000 for orchards, and about 4,048,500 for meadows and pastures in 1989. In most areas, soil and climatic conditions favored a mixed type of farming.