In agriculture we see many different megatrends that develop, with most of the technology moving towards flexibility from producers. Regular farmers need growth strategies in order to be able to survive. Specialists recommend setting a growth goal of around 6% every single year. This is only possible when you are aware of what is happening in the industry and you use the latest technology, like what exapta.com offers. Out of the various megatrends that are reality, those that should be mentioned are the following.
A Shifting Farm Structure
Farm assets are being transferred to the younger producers. Statistics show that the average farmer is now aged 57. Typical Midwest farms covering 2,000 acres conservatively have a worth of around 10 million dollars. Because of the fact that the average farmer now is older, the emerging trend shows that we are not moving towards larger farms. Smaller farms are still going strong and the move towards larger farms is slowing down.
In the past few years, a lot of data was gathered. This data will easily supplement the knowledge available for farmers. Technology is now challenging traditional farming assumptions. We are looking at brand new products that are relying on advanced technology, like aerial satellite imagery, soil maps, weather data points and greenness sensors. Data ownership is something that will be questioned and we do expect a related debate to start soon. However, access to technology and information is now more important than ever for farmers to be able to grow and even compete.
Evolving Biotechnology Strategy
It is a certainty that GMOs will not go away anytime soon. However, there are different public relations and political hurdles that are more expanded as ever before. There are states where labels are needed. This can be a big problem since implementation is quite expensive. With this in mind, it is quite obvious that we will be faced with changes that will happen in regards to biotechnology.
Agriculture production now becomes highly specialized. In the year 1982 we saw around 35 percent of farms producing corn. In the year 2007 just 22 percent were doing this because of government policies, technological advances and scale economies. Farmers now have access to diversified options, with non-GMO products, organics, high-starch corn and high-oleic soybeans as options. With this in mind, we will see some farmers that will specialize even more in specific technologies, all for more output.
Increased Resource Scarcity
Around 40 percent of the noticed food production increase that happened ever since 1961 appeared due to irrigation advancements. Unfortunately, groundwater supplies are quite finite. A big possible problem can appear with Ogallala Aquifer. It now supplies around 30 percent of the irrigation groundwater in the US. In the event that trends continue, this aquifer is going to be depleted at a 69% level. We might also have to deal with some climate changes. For every single 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit increase key crop yields are dropping around 10 percent. Irrigation can become problematic for farmers.
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