How does steel affect agriculture?

Steel is present in everyday life and contributes to sustainable development through its unique strength and ductility characteristics.

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that is continually present in everyday life. In buildings and bridges, in cars, in food cans and the agricultural area, steel is present in many areas.

Durable and light, malleable, and completely recyclable, steel, depending on how it is processed, fulfills many functions and, therefore, contributes to the development of the most varied industries.

Steel in agriculture

Present in greenhouse constructions

The first greenhouses were constructions conceived by noble houses to cultivate the exotic plants and fruits that Europe became acquainted with thanks to the territories “discovered” in its colonies.

The so-called orangeries allowed the creation of an artificial climate that reproduced, to a greater or lesser extent, the temperature and humidity conditions necessary for the development of species set in climates much warmer than those known in Europe.

Needed to create an indoor climate with great light gains and thermal gains, they were an area of convergence of two materials that have traditionally been close: glass and steel, especially since the Industrial Revolution.

Many times, if not most, these structures are supported by very light galvanized steel bases. Although its extensive use is also a source of criticism in part for its unscrupulous use and excessive water consumption, it is also true that it has allowed crops in areas of complex climates and soils, improving productivity with several harvests a year.

Behind all the different types of greenhouse structures lies the same approach: achieving efficient lighting for different kinds of crops with the smallest amount of steel, the greatest ease of assembly with the lowest cost of execution and maintenance that ensure a tight resistance to weather conditions (especially wind and rain) and durability that justifies the investment.

Present in farming tools

In the area of tools, there are many of them that are made of steel, extending the useful life of each one and obtaining effective results when working. Some of these tools are:

  • Sticks and poles

They are steel cylinders with flat or pointed ends that are used to make holes or pluck plants with small roots.

  • Machetes

They are tools designed to cut; they have a long, sharp steel blade attached to a wooden handle.

  • Shovels

They are sheets of metal, preferably steel, which are used to till the soil; they can be pointed or wide; They have a lower edge with a cutting edge, and a long wooden handle finished in a metal handle.

  • Peaks

They are instruments composed of a part of steel whose ends end in the shape of a rectangular shovel, on the one hand, and vertically on the ground; It has a square shovel with a lower edge and a wooden or metal handle.

  • Hoe

A cutting blade of metal with a reinforced hole that fits transversely to a handle, used to dig and move the earth. This old tool has evolved to materials such as stainless steel to prevent corrosion and more efficient designs to achieve optimal ground preparation.

  • Pliers

Two-piece articulated bolt or shaft cutters with sharp short ends for cutting and long ends for one-handed use; They are used in citrus harvesting and in pruning and maintenance of herbaceous, shrubs and trees. Its design takes advantage of the force of the lever for cutting.

  • Rakes

Although there are several types of rakes, the main function of this toothed bar is to loosen and level the ground. It is made of steel for longer life and is also used to collect leaves, grass or hay. The traditional rake has evolved, has gone from being manual or pulled to be attached to tractors.

  • Scythe

Consisting of a large curved blade set on a wooden handle, used with both hands for mowing.

  • Axes

sharp metal blade at one end with hole parallel to the blade where the handle is adjusted; used for multiple tasks of cutting wood, cutting trees and shrubs. They usually are made of alloy steel. These materials always have good strength and toughness. Such as the 42CrMo4, AISI 4140 steel, AISI 4130 steel and etc.


We can say that steel is an essential element in agriculture, both for the structures and the tools that are used since it has a useful life and hardly deteriorates or rusts. Simply put, it positively affects this entire area.

It does not matter if it is alloy steel, stainless steel, or pure steel, steel will always be beneficial not only for the farmer but for all areas and activities in general.