|Unit system||German customary units|
|Named after||Amount of land tillable in the morning hours of a day by one man behind an ox or horse dragging a single bladed plough|
|SI base units||2500 m2|
|Imperial unit system||2,990 sq yd|
A morgen was a unit of measurement of land area in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the Dutch colonies, including South Africa and Taiwan. The size of a morgen varies from to acres (2,000 to 10,100 m2). It was also used in Old Prussia, in the Balkans, Norway and Denmark, where it was equal to about two-thirds acre (2,700 m2)
The word is identical with the German and Dutch word for "morning", because, similarly to the Imperial acre, it denoted the acreage that could be furrowed in a morning's time by a man behind an ox or horse dragging a single bladed plough. The morgen was commonly set at about 60-70% of the tagwerk (German for "day work") referring to a full day of ploughing. In 1869, the North German Confederation fixed the morgen at a one-quarter hectare (2,500 m2) but in modern times most farmland work is measured in full hectares. The next lower measurement unit was the German "rute" or Imperial rod but the metric rod length of 5 metres (16 ft) never became popular. The morgen is still used in Taiwan today, called "kah"; 1 kah is roughly 2 acres (8,100 m2).
The following table shows an excerpt of morgen sizes as used in Germany - some morgen were used in a wider area and so they had proper names. The actual area of a morgen was considerably larger in fertile areas of Germany, or in regions where flat terrain prevails, presumably facilitating tilling. The next lower measurement unit to a morgen was usually in "Quadratruten" square rods.
|Region (Timespan)||Name||Size in m²||original definition (QR = Quadratruten)|
|- metric -||Viertelhektar = vha||2,500||(100 QR)|
|Prussia (1816-1869)||Magdeburger Morgen||2,553.22||180 QR|
|Hanover (before 1836)||2,608||120 QR|
|Hanover (after 1836)||2,621||120 QR|
|Cologne Rhineland||Rheinländischer Morgen||3,176||150 QR|
|Bergisches Land||Bergischer Morgen||2,132||120 QR|
|Württemberg (1806-1871)||3,152||384 QR|
|Danzig||ca. 5,000||300 QR|
|Holstein||Tonne (Tønde)||5,046||240 QGeestR|
|Kulmischer Morgen||5,601.17||300 QR|
|East Frisia||Diemat (h)||5,674|
|Altes Land (Harburg & Stade)||8,185|
|Altes Land||10,484||480 QR|
|Land of Hadeln||11,780||540 QR|
The Polish terms for the unit were morga, mórg, jutrzyna, the latter being a near-literal translation into old Polish.
|Unit||Miara(Unit)||Se?², (Viennese fathom²)||?okie?² (Viennese ell²)||m²|
|1 morg (morgen) (= 0.5755 ha)||3||1600||6439.02||5754.64|
|1 miara (Unit) (= 19.18 are)||533.33||2929.07||1918|
|1 se?² wiede?ski (Viennese fathom)||4.0237||3.6|
|1 ?okie?² wiede?ski (Viennese el²)||0.9|
Until the advent of metrication in the 1970s, the morgen was the legal unit of measure of land in three of the four pre-1995 South African provinces - the Cape Province, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In November 2007 the South African Law Society published a conversion factor of 1 morgen = 0.856 532 hectares to be used "for the conversion of areas from imperial units to metric, particularly when preparing consolidated diagrams by compilation".