Farming during the Qin and Han Dynasties: Intensive or Extensive?
秦至东汉中期 ,我国农业生产仍处于由锄、锸耕向犁耕过渡时期。东汉后期或魏晋南北朝 ,北方中原地区始进入牛耕时代 ,南方还要晚一些。《吕氏春秋》、《胜之书》等所说的先进耕作制度只是农学家的提倡 ,远未在全国普遍推广 ,当时多数地方还是粗放耕作。以往的农史将先进的生产工具、生产技术当做一般的、已被普遍采用的生产工具、生产技术 ,这是一个误区The period from the Qin to the early Eastern Han dynasty saw a transition in Chinese agricultural production from farming with hoes and spades into farming with ploughs. It was only during the late Eastern Han or the period of Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties that tilling with cattle appeared in the northern Central Plains, and still later in South China. The advanced farming system as mentioned in Lüshi chunqiu (Spring and Autumn Annals of Lü Buwei) and other books was only a recommendation by the agronomists, far from being actually popularized throughout the country, even in the northern part of China. In the larger part of China extensive cultivation prevailed. The past works concerning the history of Chinese agriculture gave people a false impression that advanced farming tools and techniques were commonly adopted throughout the country, which should be corrected.