So, as well as text, data and numbers, we can make visual representations of the scenarios using graphic, illustrative and spatial techniques.”. 2011, Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012). 2014), pesticide resistance (Mortensen et al. In contrast, current SI environmental targets are unclear and unlikely to inspire action. 2011, Ray et al. The research enterprise led by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) should prioritize efforts to identify and meet quantitative production and environmental goals. To quantify resource use in agriculture in 2050 virtual resource content (VRC) factors were established (Odegard, 2011). Uma Lele 2. Although even a 25%–70% increase will be challenging, global agricultural output is at least on the right trajectory. The hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico is fed by the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin system in the central United States, where riverine nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are primarily from agricultural sources. 2016). California Agriculture in 2050: Still Feeding People, Maybe Fewer Acres and Cows Lori Pottinger February 18, 2020 Water supply concerns, regulations, labor issues, tariffs, climate change, and other challenges have prompted some rather dire predictions about the future of California agriculture. 2014) and shifting diets (Davis et al. Mitch Hunter is a PhD candidate in Agronomy at Penn State University, working with Dr. David Mortensen in the Weed and Applied Plant Ecology Lab. 2013). 2013, Long et al. Indirect emissions from land-use change in agriculture and forestry contribute another 12% (IPCC 2014). The FAO (Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012) assumed a lower rate of annual GDP growth than Tilman and colleagues (2011): 2.1% as compared with 2.5%. 2013, Rockström et al. Pg, petagram; Gg, gigagram. Dr Zeunert became a full-time academic around 10 years ago after working in award-winning landscape architecture and urban design offices as well as casual teaching. Clearly, environmental sustainability cannot play second fiddle to intensification; efforts to increase food production and reduce aggregate environmental impacts must go hand in hand. Each point represents the compound annual growth rate of global average cereal yields over the 5 previous years (FAO 2016). It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. 2017). Australian agriculture in 2050: what will it look like? Meeting food demand while maintaining functioning ecosystems will require a recalibrated SI strategy, in which up-to-date production goals are coupled with quantitative environmental targets. Davis KF, Gephart JA, Emery KA, Leach AM, Galloway JN, D'Odorico P. [FAO] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. We must also halt cropland expansion (Cunningham et al. 2013, Ray et al. Our analysis shows that, largely because of recent production gains, an increase of approximately 25%–70% above current production levels may be sufficient to meet 2050 demand (figure 1a, supplemental table S1). Agricultural production activities directly contribute 11%–13% of the world's total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (IPCC 2014). Using a new International Agricultural Prospects (iAP) Model, to project global agricultural consumption and production, we find in favour of a future where aggregate agricultural consumption (in tonnes) increases more modestly, by around 69 per cent (1.3 per cent per year) from 2010 to 2050. Here, we focus on the US context. “And the tragic recent [bushfire] events, which perhaps demonstrate how widespread change can quickly occur, will also make us want to look at that claim a little more closely.”. Under the FAO projection, the rate of average annual cereal yield growth could fall gradually over the next 35 years and still meet demand using only existing cropland. Global climate change is widely accepted as an everyday reality and anything that contributes to it – including industrial agriculture – is both unethical and unlawful. Cereal production increased 24% from 2005 to 2014 because of both yield improvements and the expansion of cropped area (supplemental tables S1 and S5; FAO 2016). Moreover, many environmental regulations currently exempt agricultural activities. Obregon, Mexico 25-28 March 2014 Water for Agriculture in 2050: Are We Ready? Achieving both production and environmental goals will require shifts in US agricultural policy. Dr Joshua Zeunert from UNSW Built Environment. Conservation incentive programs help producers implement many environmentally beneficial practices, but they are not structured to produce maximum benefits. By the time our generation retires, agriculture's 2050 goals must be met. Some sustainability goals would even result in increased environmental degradation, such as when marginal reductions in per-unit impacts are coupled with doubled output (Monsanto 2008). Many authors also call for agriculture to become more environmentally sustainable, but with little urgency and few quantitative targets. This project was also supported by USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture grant no. Meanwhile, agriculture's environmental impacts need to fall rapidly to protect critical ecosystem functions. We aim to rebalance this narrative by laying out quantitative and compelling midcentury targets for both production and the environment. To synthesise the wide array of existing information, Dr Zeunert will use a conceptual framework that draws on established and overlapping processes – sieve mapping, GIS (geographic information systems) and geodesign. Public and scientific discourse on the subject focuses primarily on two studies (Tilman et al. “Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict. In contrast, agriculture's environmental performance is going in the wrong direction: Aggregate impacts are increasing and must drop sharply over the coming decades (figure 1b–c, supplemental table S3). Meeting food demand while maintaining functioning ecosystems will require a recalibrated SI strategy, in which up-to-date production goals are coupled with quantitative environmental targets. 2013, Davis et al. We build and update approximations of the FAO (Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012) and Tilman and colleagues’ (2011) projections. These goals will need to be refined periodically as new information becomes available, given the uncertainty of long-term projections. 2011-51300-30638. World. Challinor AJ, Watson J, Lobell DB, Howden SM, Smith DR, Chhetri N. [DME] Danish Ministry of the Environment. 2013) and ensure that the world's poorest people have secure access to nutritious food (FAO et al. Second, applied agricultural research should focus on developing production systems that can simultaneously meet both production and environmental targets while helping farmers adapt to a range of emerging challenges, such as mounting water shortages (Falkenmark 2013, Elliott et al. “It's quite alarming how different these stories are – and it's not very common within areas of study for there to be such polarised views on what the future might entail. Agriculture in 2050: The Path Forward October 11, 2017 As the third speaker in our series on genetically engineered crops, Mr. Hunter examines how many people we need to feed by 2050 and how this can be done sustainably. /4 /NET-ZERO AGRICULTURE IN 2050: HOW TO GET THERE This report explores how the EU farming sector could look like in a net-zero world, what roles it would play and what is needed to make the transition by mid-century. Future of agriculture Future of agriculture in 2050 Agriculture will face many challenges in the future and the growing population will require a drastic increase in food supply.