Agriculture 1750 up to 1800

English merino sheep English merino sheep

region Mecklenburg

From 1753 small landowners (2-9 hectares) came to settle on free farmsteads. State farmers were released from court service between 1768 and 1778.

Three-field farming with pasture land changed as per the Holstein model into the Mecklenburg field economy with seven to 12 fields. From 1785 Spanish merino sheep were bred. Potato farming began around 1790.

In 1793 there were 183 lords of the manor through birth (the core of the knighthood), 117 new lords and 111 middle-class manorial owners.

Due to poor harvests and increased demand during the Coalition Wars, France became a trading area for grain, butter, potatoes and meat.

Der König überall, Gemälde Robert Warthmüller After a famine in Pomerania in 1746, King Frederick II. issued the first “potato order”. “The King is everywhere”, painting by Robert Warthmüller.

region Western Pomerania

Agricultural reforms are initiated 1779 in Prussian Pomerania, which partially relax serfdom and grant the landowners access to cheap loans.

Around 1790, Joachim Nettelbeck from Kolberg starts cultivating potatoes as a crop in a farm close to Stargard. But potato and clover farming requires fewer labourers.

The number of positions open to farmers continues to decline after 1770 when Swedish Pomerania introduces the practice of arranging farmland in strips and then alternating its use for crops and grazing. The farming community now accounts for just 15% of the population, and by the end of the century it has been virtually wiped out. Two thirds of the rural population subsist in serfdom. Around 40% of the arable land lies fallow.