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1st Answer None to speak of except crop rotation - the improvements in agrarian practice mainly came after the Middle Ages. The seed drill, mechanization, enclosure, fertilizer, drainage, selective breeding to name but a few. 2nd Answer But yes, I know there was some enclosure and drainage in the Middle Ages. 3rd AnswerImprovements in agriculture were among the most important things that happened in the Middle Ages. They increased agricultural production enormously, and made it possible for towns and cities to grow to the point that they had a far greater population than they had during the time of the Roman Empire.

Crop rotation was done in ancient times. The improvement was to go from a two field system to a three field system, increasing the amount of agricultural land in use by 37% from what it had been in ancient times.

The invention of the horse collar made it possible for horses to pull harder with less fatigue, which made it possible to till more land. It also made it possible for horses to pull newly invented heavy plows, which increased agricultural production.

Horse shoes were invented, and they prevented horses from getting hurt on stony land. This kept more horses in operation.

There were inventions that were useful beyond agriculture. The European style wheel barrow was one of these. Ancient Romans and people of the earliest part of the Middle Ages had hand barrows, which required two people to operate.

Wine presses were a medieval invention, and decreased the amount of labor needed for wine production.

Better agricultural tools were produced after the invention of the blast furnace in the 12th century, though I do not know if the improved steels were used for agriculture before the end of the Middle Ages.

Vertical windmills and mills powered by tidal action made it possible for millers to handle increased amounts of grain. The mills were also used to pump water, improving drainage and, in some places, reclaiming land from the sea.

Grinding wheels for sharpening tools were invented in the Middle Ages.

New spinning wheels and looms increased demand for linen fiber, providing new crops.

Other new crops were introduced by Arabs, but they were not inventions, of course.

Certain foods, such as caramel, were invented in the Middle Ages, and cane provided another new crop.

Distilled alcohol provided another new outlet for farm production, especially in Ireland and Scotland.

The inventions of new types of soaps meant new crops were raised for vegetable oils. And another use for oils was for paint, which was developed slowly from the eighth to fifteenth centuries.

There is a link below to the agriculture section of a Wikipedia article on Medieval Technology.

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6y ago
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13y ago

New agricultural technologies of the Middle Ages led to the increases in agricultural productivity, both in terms of land use and in terms of human efficiency. Increased production made it possible for some of the farming population to engage in other activities, and this was one of the things that led to increases of the populations of towns and cities.

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13y ago

The new agricultural technologies provided the food surplus that made possible the rise of towns and cities.

The farmers had a higher income because of increased crops.

A larger part of the population could be in crafts or merchandising.

The Middle Ages saw the inventions of the horse collar, the heavy plow, and horseshoes, among other things. The combined effects were that farmers could produce far more efficiently than they were able to in earlier times; the same amount of land could produce more food with less work. And this meant that the populations of cities and towns could grow greatly, increasing the size and importance of the middle class.

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The mechanical improvements included the following:

  • the horse collar, which enabled horses to pull heavier loads with less effort
  • the heavy plow permitted by the horse collar and could till deeper
  • new designs for plow blades that could be used on the heavy plow
  • horse shoes, which made tilling rockier soil and spared horses injury
  • the European style of wheel barrow
  • the wine press and adaptations for other purposes
  • the artesian well
  • vertical wind mills for milling
  • adaptations of mills for pumping and draining land
  • tidal mills for milling
  • the grinding wheel for sharpening cutting tools

There were advances or inventions that were not strictly for use in agriculture but expanded markets for farmers, and these included:

  • linen based paper, which expanded the market for flax
  • new spinning wheels
  • new, more efficient, looms
  • distilled liquor, which expanded the market for grains and fruit
  • new formulations of soaps, which expanded the markets for fats and oils

New species or breeds were imported or developed, giving farmers new crops, and these included, either as new introductions or crops spread into areas where they had not previously been grown in Europe:

  • apricots
  • cotton
  • eggplants
  • hard wheat
  • rice
  • hops
  • lemons
  • limes
  • Oranges
  • peaches
  • spinach
  • sugar cane

There were new practices, including:

  • Development of the manorial system, which organized farmers
  • three field crop rotation
  • managed breeding programs to produce new breeds of horses and other animals
  • a gradual development of cash cropping, especially in the High Middle Ages when towns and cities developed
  • raising crops, especially turnips, with a view to using them as winter feed for cattle, which increased the supplies of beef and dairly products markedly

Please use the links below to see more in medieval inventions and more information on medieval agricultural improvements.

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12y ago

Most medieval farming was done on estates called manors. The manors had numbers of peasants living on them, and the peasants did the farming. The fields were divided according to use, with some being farmed strictly for the lord of the manor, some farmed by individual peasant families, and the majority farmed communally. A manor was usually intended to be as nearly self sufficient as possible, so all sorts of things were grown, including vines, orchard trees, cereal crops, root crops, green crops, pigs, cattle, chickens, and whatever else was thought good to raise. During the Middle Ages, new methods of crop rotation were used, and there were a number of new crops introduce from other parts of the world. Organization of the communal work and the fields was done by a reeve, who was one of the serfs selected for the task.

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13y ago

farming was simple there was very little tools oxens and horses were used to pull heavy things and the farmers(peasents) had to give the lord a share of the crops.

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Q: What were the agricultural improvements of the middle ages?
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