The steady increase in the world’s population coupled with the fact that there’s a finite amount of cropland, and that amount is shrinking due to urban sprawl, presents an interesting scenario to American agriculture; a growing demand for food with less land to use to produce it. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"Where the farmer used to feed ten people, now he’s feeding one hundred and fifty plus per acre, per farmer."
"The times are different. Used to, there was a family on every hundred acres and it’s just not that way anymore. There’s fewer of us operating the same amount of land."
Ag consultant Robert Cossar says that one challenge that future farmers face is very clear.
"Do more with less. As our cities are expanding and we have more urban growth, our rural land is becoming less and less."
John Perryman his son farm in McLennan County and he says the fact that American consumers use less of their disposable income than ever before to buy food is no accident.
"People need to realize if they think the government spends too much on farm programs, it really takes some subsidies to keep individual producers on the land, and I think that’s one of our strengths too, that it’s still in the hand of enough different producers that it’s a lot more stable that way."
Emerging new technology is not only available to today’s farmers, it’s use is required.
"We are second to none on the amount of technology a grower has to be up on each and every day."
"My granddad would not believe where we are today with agriculture."
And that’s why the productivity of the American farmer is unrivaled.
"The American farmer is absolutely astounding at what he can do with an acre of ground. There’s nowhere else in the world that grows the amount of production off one acre that we can in America."
"We pretty much know what we’re doing, we’re not a hundred percent but we’re always trying, and for the most part just want to create a better country to live in and a more stable atmosphere for our families to grow up in."
I’m Joe Brown, tracing the journey our food makes from the farm to our tables, From The Ground Up.