Japanese technologists have pioneered the state-of-the-art technology in mechanized transplanting, which hitherto had been (and still remains) a highly labor intensive operation. Exciting innovations have occurred in sowing including the use of air pressure in precision seeders (both positive and negative, e.g. vacuum seeders), monitoring of seed metering and sowing rates using sensors, and fluid drilling (a method of sowing pregerminated seed suspended in a pumpable gel).
Total farmland more than doubled between 1870 and 1920. Since average farm size stayed roughly constant, total farm employment must have nearly doubled as well. The agricultural work force, far from being displaced, was redeployed within agriculture, along with large numbers of immigrants. Mechanization did not produce higher yields, however; they came later and were linked to fertilizers and biological innovations.