A few days ago, Producers Cooperative held their annual membership meeting at Reed Arena on the Texas A&M campus.
The crowd was addressed by the CEO of one of the biggest agricultural cooperatives in the United States and he discussed the challenge facing agriculture producers to feed the world of the future.
“We are involved in a phenomenal growth industry. Folks that study
this day-in and day-out look at the population and it’s going to grow from about 6.8 billion to over 9 billion people between now and 2050. That’s about a 40% increase in population.”
Chris Policinski is the CEO of Land O Lakes, the second largest agricultural cooperative in the United States.
“There’s a middle class emerging, primarily in Asia. The first things people do when they have a little money is improve their diet. They mix protein in. So we’re going to have to increase food production 70% to 100% between now and 2050 which isn’t that far away. That means twice as much dairy, twice as much meat, 50% more cereal products.”
Ag producers have done such a great job over the last generation and a half we haven’t had to think about food production here in the U.S.
“We’ve got to double food output with very finite resources. Globally at most there’s 12% more arable land, probably half of which will be brought into production, and you all know we’re in the midst of a water crisis.”
Policinski believes ag producers are up to the challenge.
“The best predictor of future performance is past performance. Since 1960 corn yields have tripled, wheat yields have tripled, soybean yields are up 70%, milk production per cow has tripled, pork production per sow has more than doubled, and beef production per head is up 50%. Can we do it again? Absolutely, if farmers are permitted to use the tools that they have used to drive that story.”
I’m Bob French, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.