What is in this article?:
- Agricultural technology critical to feed 9 billion people
- Collaborative sharing
- New crop protection products
- Global agriculture faces a daunting task to feed and clothe a world population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050.
- To fill 2 billion more mouths, worldwide agricultural productivity must increase 70 percent to 100 percent, according to the United Nations.
Western farm leaders at the 2013 Southwest Ag Summit in Yuma, Ariz. include, front row from left: Steve Alameda, Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association; Rik Miller, DuPont Crop Protection President; and Bruce Gwynn, Helena Chemical. Back row - Jeff Johnson, YFVA; Kurt Nolte, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yuma County; and Martin Reed, DuPont.
Collaborative sharing will involve growers, agricultural support companies, academia, policy makers, government agencies, and many others. Miller says technology born from these relationships can deliver food solutions for tomorrow. Innovation will deliver the tools to help growers succeed at the local level.
“These pressing needs will challenge the way we think, act, and plan,” Miller stated. “We must develop new tools to help growers around the world increase the quality, quantity, and safety of the global food supply.”
He says crop protection materials (farm chemicals) must be "safer, greener, and more sustainable."
“New inventions in insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and nematicides are needed to enhance productivity at the local level,” Miller said. “New technologies will set a new bar of performance.”
Reinvented products are also essential to the plan. Miller discussed Rynaxypyr, a DuPont insecticide mode of action on the commercial market for the about five years. This ingredient, and others, on the commercial farm chemical market are under refinement since resistance can occur over time.
Looking across agriculture, companies are creating a wide range of products with higher yields as the end goal.
“The answer to feeding the world is to get more yield from every acre,” Miller said. “Research and development (R&D) will deliver the answers.”
The DuPont company invests more 60-plus percent of its annual R&D budget to improve food production; more than $1 billion per year.