Ecological Intensification Key to Meeting Future World Food Needs

John DavisAg Leader, Audio, ICPA, Precision Pays Podcast Podcast

In this edition of the Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we listen in on one of the sessions at the recent International Conference on Precision Agriculture held in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Ken Cassman with the University of Nebraska’s Center for Energy Sciences Research told the standing-room-only crowd that if you look at the past 40 years of farming and extrapolate those increases to the next 40 years, food production will still fall short, putting the world’s population … estimated to be 9.2 billion people by the year 2050 … and the world’s food supply on a crash course. He says estimates are that agriculture will have to increase production by 1.75 percent a year. Right now the numbers are closer to about a 1.3 percent increase. And Cassman says world agriculture will have to meet that increasing demand without negatively impacting the water supplies, nutrients, and wildlife of this planet.

So what’s the solution? Increased biotechnology to get more out of crops? Cassman says while biotechnology has increased yields somewhat, there’s no good, hard scientific evidence it will be able to meet the growing demands. He believes the real solution is meeting a food crop’s true genetic potential through something he calls Ecological Intensification.

It’s a fascinating conversation, and you can hear more of it in the player below below. [wpaudio url=”″ text=” Podcast”]

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