The Mayas used extensive canal and raised field systems to farm swampland from 400 BC.
The indigenous people of the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest practiced forest gardening and fire-stick farming.
From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops, emmer and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant.
Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, coca, llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs.
The natives controlled fire on a regional scale to create a low-intensity fire ecology that sustained a low-density agriculture in loose rotation; a sort of "wild" permaculture.
In the Middle Ages, both in the Islamic world and in Europe, agriculture was transformed with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants, including the introduction of sugar, rice, cotton and fruit trees such as the orange to Europe by way of Al-Andalus.After 1492, the Columbian exchange brought New World crops such as maize, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and manioc to Europe, and Old World crops such as wheat, barley, rice and turnips, and livestock including horses, cattle, sheep and goats to the Americas.Irrigation, crop rotation, and fertilizers advanced from the 17th century with the British Agricultural Revolution, allowing global population to rise significantly.Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC; seed-ploughs around 2,300 BC.Farmers grew wheat, barley, vegetables such as lentils and onions, and fruits including dates, grapes, and figs.Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and growth hormones in industrial meat production.Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although some are banned in certain countries.Modern agriculture has raised ecological, political, and economic issues including water pollution, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, tariffs and farm subsidies, leading to alternative approaches such as the organic movement.Pastoralism involves managing domesticated animals. In nomadic pastoralism, herds of livestock are moved from place to place in search of pasture, fodder, and water.The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels and raw materials (such as rubber).Food classes include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meat, milk, fungi and eggs.