Global Farming Trends

Goals

Identify more trends in the commercial farming industry that are shaping the future of farming.

Early Findings

Crop Monitoring Technologies

  • One trend in commercial farming is the increasing use of crop monitoring technologies, like apps and even lightweight graphene plant tattoos for farmers to monitor their specific plant and soil conditions. In the future, experts predict even more targeted crop monitoring technologies being used to breed plants for specific local conditions.

Food Safety Regulation

  • There is increasing regulation globally for food safety standards, which in turn is increasing the amount farms are spending on products and labor related to food safety.

Water Use

  • As concerns over water availability grow, farmers are experimenting with new ways to conserve water, including reusing water and harvesting water on their fields.

Increase Use of Cover Crops

  • Farmers are using more and more cover crops as a way to improve "soil health, nutrient management and carbon sequestration efforts." From 2012 to 2017, the number of acres planted with cover crop in the US increased by 50%.

Carbon Farming

  • Experts predict that a new form of farming — carbon farming — will increase in the future. Carbon farming is where businesses pay farmers to sequester carbon in the ground, basically paying farmers directly for carbon offsets.

Increased Consolidation

  • As the average age of farmers increases, more farmers are expected to retire and sell their farm/land in the future. Considering that there are very few young farmers to replace them, consolidation is expected to occur.

Gene Edited Crops

  • Experts predict an increase in the number and types of gene edited crops by 2050, which experts say will "enable farmers to select specific crop varieties that have features like resistance to different diseases, drought tolerance or more desirable oil content. Gene editing will provide a greater variety of crops that can be grown by editing out traits hampering widespread production."

Proposed next steps:

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