Imagine a global population over 9 billion by 2050.
We have 30 years to gain and implement the knowledge and processes it will take to conquer the task of providing food and fiber for this number of people. This is the challenge facing today’s farmers.
We must learn to increase production and sustainability on our farms to meet this goal!
First, let's define sustainable farming. It is the practice of farming that takes in account aspects of the environment, of society, and more importantly, economics. Each one of these areas provide their own set of special challenges.
Socially, farmers must be a positive for our communities, cities, and states. We must demonstrate the ability to coexist and provide the products consumers demand.
Environmentally, the challenge is simple: Leave farm and the land better than it was when we came here.
The National Cotton Council, through the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force, has established 10-year environmental goals to confirm to brands, retailers and textile manufacturers U.S. cotton producers are farming responsibly, using the latest technology innovations, and are on a path of continuous improvement. That path must include using farm-based methodologies that conserve irrigation water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and efficiently use nutrients so they leave a minimal environmental footprint. A 5-year study has confirmed farmers can reduce irrigation water needs in rice by 60%. How did we accomplish this? Through techniques like Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) and the use of many other on-farm automations.
Business comes down to economics. If a farmer can't be profitable and stay in business, he or she will never be able to contribute to the increase in farming's sustainability. Utilizing every program and cost savings we can will help keep our eyes on the end goal of increased sustainability. AWD is just one example. Not only are you reducing water use but you will lower your energy and equipment costs. Plant seeds that will provide you the maximum return at harvest. Spoon feed those plants efficiently to produce the best yields possible.
Traceability is a key factor in meeting farming's sustainability goals. An increasing number of end users (consumers) want to know the origins of the food and products they purchase. Can you tell them your story? Yes, you can. Farmers have great stories to tell.
Join with the farmers of XtremeAg and let’s show the world you can provide the highest quality products that are traceable, affordable, environmentally friendly and most of all, profitable to you the FARMER.
Robb Dedman, CCA
Ultimate AG Consulting, Inc.