I’m cleaning up from some of the research that went into my recent talk for the United Soybean Board last week.
- corn yields have gone from 39 bushels to 153 per acre in the last 50 years
- farmers produce 44% more milk with 65% fewer cows than 1944
- soil erosion is down 32% from 19282
- today an acre of land supports one human life – that will decrease to 1/3 acre within 35 years
- output of eggs and poultry have increased 411% from 1948 to 1994
- this year, the US posted the longest stretch of falling food prices in 50 years, due to advances in agriculture
- when planning each year, farmers must select from thousands of potential seed varietals, each tailored to particular geographic, soil and other characteristics
- Farmers Business Network, Farmers Edge and other initiatives essentially crowd source information from thousands of farmer s as to the perforce of particular seeds and pesticides
- farm jobs were 90% of all US jobs in 1790 but are less than 2% today
- advances in science will let us grow crops that use less sunlight, in saltier areas and more arid lands
- the average American meal travels 1,500 miles to the table – which is why there is so much interest in the field of vertical farming
- 70% of the final cost of food comes from transportation storage and handling!
- one acre of a vertical farm can grow 10 to 20 times that of a traditional farm acre
It’s all about less input, more output.
Farmers and agriculture are masters of optimization. I love working with agriculture keynote groups; they thrive on innovation. In the past, I’ve spoken to a wide range of groups, including • CHS • Farm Media Journal • FMC Agriculture • Texas Cattle Feeders Association • Colorado Cattle Ranchers Association • FCC Services US (Farm Credit Cooperative) • MicroBeef Technologies • Mid-America Crop Protection Association • FarmTech • AgProgress Conference • Agricorp • CropLife Canada • US Department of Agriculture • American Agriwoman Society • Syngenta • American Landscape and Nursery Association • Monsanto • and more….
The rest of the business world would do well to learn from farmers and the world of agriculture. Rock stars of innovation!