1) Iron Plow: The invention of hoes have been dated in 3000 BCE and iron hoes were commonplace by 5 BCE. Yet, it is in plow technology that China leads the way. When the Greeks and Romans was using perishable materials to make plows during around 4 centuries BCE, the Chinese had begun making theirsout of iron. Only three centuries later, a full century before the common era, full moldboard plows had been invented by the Chinese that allowed the farmer to turn a true furrow and invert the soil. Nutrients from deep from the earth can be drawn to the top also being softened in the process. The design remained largely unchanged to this day.
|Iron plow - Source: east west dialogue|
3) Planting: Sometimes, innovations does not have to be concrete. Instead, revolutionary ideas are as important as physical inventions. Chinese farmers had always planted seeds in rows as is the practice today. However, European farmers of the time scattered the seeds into the fields randomly which caused a large waste of seeds (hungry birds, lack of nutrients) and this practice was recorded by the Qin officials during the third century BCE.
4) Seed Drilling: Today, when one plants their seeds, they use a seed drill that digs a small hole for the seed and covers it back up. In China, this technology had evolved by 200 BCE. Records indicated that they had used multi tube seed drills since the Warring States Period that does not require the manual insertion of the seed. This technology predates its European equivalent by over 1.7 millennium.
|A Chinese multi tube steel drill - Source: east west dialgoue|