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.
New crop protection products
What new technology is coming down the pike in crop protection and other agricultural products? Expect lower use rate technology, Miller says, which will create a smaller environmental footprint.
Seed treatment technology will help crops generate the “strongest biological yield and crop quality” ever. Crop technology will deliver improved drought- and saline-tolerance to allow growers to farm in harsher growing environments.
Of the two billion new residents on Earth, Miller says about one billion will live in Africa. One-half billion will be Chinese. The remaining half billion will live around the world.
While the population is increasing so is personal income. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), global income rose 32 percent over the last decade. People have more money available and want to put more protein in their diet.
EIU data says meat consumption increased 17 percent higher overall. Chicken consumption increased 32 percent, pork was up 15 percent, and beef increased 2 percent.
On the grain side, worldwide consumption is 26 percent higher over the last decade – corn up 39 percent, soybean 37 percent higher, rice climbed 15 percent, and cotton use rose by 8 percent.
Export data confirms that fresh fruits and vegetables – once considered a delicacy to many – are becoming a food staple.
Vegetable grower Steve Alameda, who farms in California and Arizona, asked Miller how growers should respond to consumers who may have negative views of pesticides. Miller responded that growers should state the facts.
“Growers should explain why they use crop protection products,” Miller told the crowd. He said, “Be well versed in ‘Where Your Food Comes From 101,’ and share the facts about agriculture.”
Miller concluded, “We need to get the public out of the 1960s mentality of DDT and talk about the new crop protection materials in 2013. It is a ‘better-safer-greener message’.”