Albrecht Daniel Thaer

Thaer, Albrecht Daniel


Born May 14, 1752, in Celle; died Oct. 26, 1828, near Wriezen. German agronomist and soil scientist.

Thaer graduated from the University of Göttingen in 1774. In 1807, together with the chemist H. Eichnof, he organized an agricultural school near Berlin, which he headed until his death. From 1810 to 1819 he was a professor at the University of Berlin. Thaer developed the humus theory of plant nutrition and from it deduced the necessity of forage-grass cultivation, crop rotation, and improved management of row crops. Thaer was among the first to classify the soils of Western Europe according to their texture, or mechanical composition, and humus and lime content. He studied questions related to the mechanization of agriculture, zootechny, and the comparative evaluation of animal feeds (hay equivalents).


Grundsätze der rationellen landwirtschaft, 5th ed., vols. l–4. Berlin, 1853.
Beschreibung der nutzbarsten neuen Ackergeräthe, books 1–3. Hannover, 1802–06.
Geschichte meiner Wirtschaft zu Möglin. Berlin-Vienna, 1815.
In Russian translation:
Osnovanüa ratsional’nogo sel’skogo khoziaistva, parts 1–5. Moscow, 1830–35.
Opisanie noveishikh i obshchepoleznykh zemledel’cheskikh orudii. Moscow, 1834.