The Future For Agriculture is Bright

Recently I was a descision panel guest on AgVisionTV with host Kevin Stewart.  Along with two other guests we discussed interest rates and debt issues for Canadian farms.  The first question was whether or not the panel thought the long term future of agriculture is bright?

In many ways that is an interesting question.  I think many peoples first reaction would be one of either “of course”, “better be” or “been terrible for years.”

I think the answer is much more complicated than that.  There are points to consider in both the positive and negative but I believe the positive is much more powerful and will undoubtedly become reality.

Some points to consider:

  • estimated global population of 9 billion by 2050
  • increasing opportunities in identity preserved closed loop value chains
  • increase focus by consumer on food
  • speciality market development
  • greater innovations and technologies coming to the farm to lower costs and raise revenue.
  • growing nutriceuticals

The above are just a few fluffy future points that keep us all interested in the long term possibilities in agriculture.

In October, Jay Bradshaw, President of Syngenta Canada presented to the Economic Club of Canada and touched on this very topic.

Agriculture has a key role in managing the environment and growing the food we eat.   Agriculture has a strong future for those that are willing to adapt and change with the needs of the market.  If there is one group of farmers that will struggle it is the ones that continue to clench on to a romantic view of the past.  Every industry experiences change and agriculture is no different.

It is no secret that different segments of agriculture have experienced some hard times in the past decade but for those that persevere the future could be strong and fruitful.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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4 Comments

Dennis Laughton P.Ag

I am on the positive side for the future of agriculture. Even with todays world population we only produce over the world demand of coase grains every three out of ten years. In my opinion agriculture has an essential role to play in environmental sustainability, carbon sequestration being the least of the issues, water is at the top of my list. I don’t have all the answers. The big question is how can farmers get paid for their contribution. Reduced tillage is having a major impact in maintaining and improving the soil, more N is already being mineralized on long term RT fields.
Thanks for allowing me space for my 2 cents worth.

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Andy

Even with all the computers, celebrities, and climate change, the rumor is that people still need to eat!

Reply
Steve Larocque

I’ve had the opportunity to travel and experience a snapshot of global agriculture across four continents through a Nuffield Scholarship recently. It is my conclusion that production is not the issue. It is logistics, crime and politics which threaten our ability to feed the world.

As for the future of agriculture, like any risk reward scenario, the amount of risk put on the shoulders of primary producers will increase but so will the potential returns of those who learn how to manage it. Bright future for some, career ending for others.

My two cents…

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