Top 7 Reasons Why Earth Day Is Every Day for Modern Agriculture
Earth Day is here in its 46th year, and we are reminded of our responsibility to inspire, encourage and challenge ideas for supporting a sustainable Earth. Here are our top reasons why Earth Day is every day for modern agriculture.
1. We need to provide enough food for the world while still protecting our resources.
Continued innovation in sustainable agriculture will be the key to feeding a hungry world.
2. Rising prosperity is changing eating habits and behavior in developing countries.
In order to provide the protein needed for the developing world, we’ll need twice the annual meat production of today, increasing from 284M tons to 501M tons. US feed grain production today consists of 94% corn, with small amounts of oats, barley and sorghum. With more than one-third of our corn crop going to feed livestock, we’ll need to produce more than ever.
3. Farmers use every innovation available to enhance yields on their land.
With 570 million farms operating globally to feed the current population, 262% more food is produced today than in 1950. Farmers are now able to produce more with less, as crop protection products have increased productivity by 20-50%.
4. Despite modern crop protection products, 20-40% of potential food production is lost to pests each year.
The various threats to crops aren’t going anywhere, but with modern innovations help crops to thrive. Both biological and chemical crop protection products help protect crops against weeds, pests and diseases to preserve high yields.
5. By 2050, we are expected to see a 60% increase in food demand.
While the average US farm can now feed 26% more people than it could in 1980, farms are continuing to use sustainable agricultural practices to increase food production more than ever.
6. Soil degradation leads to the loss of 12 million hectares of agricultural land each year.
But modern agricultural products and practices such as reduced or no tillage are helping preserve soil and conserve land.
7. Water demand is outpacing supply, but modern agricultural technologies are working to address water issues.
Seed-breeding and trait advancements are making more efficient use of water while conservation is improved through irrigation and tillage practices. Water quality and salination issues are also being addressed through plant-breeding research.
Celebrate Earth Day 2016 by joining the AgVocate Facebook group and engage in the conversation about the importance of agriculture, food production and the innovation needed to feed a hungry world.