(Posted Mon. Dec 5th, 2011)
Dec. 5: High-yield technologies like those used in the United States will have to be effectively adapted for use world-wide in order to meet growing global food demand, according to the findings of a study released by University of Minnesota Professor David Tilman and colleagues in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Estimating that global food demand will double by the year 2050, the scientists project that, in order to meet that demand without causing serious environmental damage, less developed nations must significantly improve yields by the adoption of nitrogen-efficient “intensive” farming practices that allow farmers to grow more crop on less land using fewer inputs more strategically.
Reporting on the findings, Science Daily noted Tilman stressed the importance of modern U.S. agricultural practices in preserving the environment while feeding a growing population.
“Agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions could double by 2050 if current trends in global food production continue,” he said, noting that much of the increase would come from land clearing activities that would threaten many species with extinction.
The report surmises that strategically implementing these “intensive” farming practices in poorer nations would significantly decrease the environmental impact of producing the necessary food.
“This report highlights the environmental soundness and incredible productivity of U.S. farmers and the practices they use,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “There are many groups who advocate a return to the farming practices of our forefathers, but conclusive data shows that this would be to the detriment of our planet while failing to provide for its inhabitants. Today’s farmer acts as a good steward of the land, both socially and environmentally. It is imperative that we continue to innovate in order to meet this ever-growing need.”
For the full article detailing report findings, click here.