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August 10, 2014

A Growing Need for Food and Resources

Posted by Agricen

Policymakers, growers, non-profits and industry today devote an enormous amount of time planning and innovating new ways to improve crop yields so that we will be able to meet future food needs for a growing world population.

At the same time, growers are faced with increasing demands to incorporate more sustainable practices. These demands come from wide-ranging interests––from consumers and advocacy groups, to regulators and large companies that are increasingly evaluating sustainability practices among their produce suppliers.

An Increasing Population Means an Increasing Need for Food and Resources


Figure 1. Crop production will need to significantly increase to meet the future food demands of a growing world population.

Industry Calls for Efficient Nutrient Use

Industry is also calling for efficient nutrient use, in the form of enhanced efficiency fertilizers that allow growers to increase yields while reducing inputs.

We are already making progress. A report from Field to Market shows that production agriculture has become increasingly efficient. For example, per bushel of corn productivity (crop yield per acre) increased by 64 percent from 1980 to 2011, while land use per bushel, soil loss and energy use all decreased by 30 percent or more. 

Making Progress, But There’s Still More Work to Do


Figure 2. Over the past 30 years, corn yields have increased, while agricultural energy use, land use per bushel and soil loss have decreased. However, more production and efficiency gains are still needed to meet future food needs.

However, although impressive, those gains alone will not meet the escalating demand for global human nutrition. We must do more to meet the demands of the world’s growing population.

In our next blog post, we’ll explore sustainable growing practices that make sense economically and help maintain the environment.


This is Part 1 in our five-part series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) about sustainable growing practices. To learn more about Agricen and our contributions to sustainable growing practices, subscribe to our blog.

Topics: Sustainability