From the Ground Up - Big Future Challenge For Agriculture

The world faces many challenges ahead, but none are any bigger than those facing agricultural producers. They’re the people the world is relying on to keep us all fed.

“How are we going to feed the population of the world by mid-century? So here we are in 2012. We’ve got 38 years, essentially one generation, the working lifetime of the students that are in college right now.”

Catherine Woteki is the Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We’re going to have to increase agricultural production by at least 70% above what it is now, and maybe double agricultural production. We’re not going to have much more land brought into production. Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource.”

So how will this increase in productivity take place?

“The kind of revolution that Norman Borlaug spurred in this generation, we’re going to have to do that again in this next 38 years. The way that we’re going to do that is through the investment in science and in providing education to producers.”

Several economic studies have suggested Agricultural and food research is a good investment.

“For every dollar that we put into a research program the return to the American public is twenty dollars which is an incredible rate of return, and that goes to the fact that this research is going to provide improved varieties of crops that have got improved disease and pest resistance, that have got improved nutritional characteristics.”

Most ag producers think they’re up for the challenge. I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos valley Agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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