Mix of farm innovations take bite out of world hunger

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

A tailored mix of farming technologies could significantly improve global food security by mid-century as the world's population swells to a projected 9 billion and the risk of adverse weather from climate change threatens crops and disrupts trade, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Global corn yields could jump by as much as 67 percent by 2050, while wheat and rice yields may rise around 20 percent if certain innovations are paired, the International Food Policy Research Institute said in a study titled "Food Security in a World of Natural Resource Scarcity."

Widespread adoption of technologies, including biotech seeds, irrigation and no-till farming, could slice world food prices by nearly half and cut food insecurity by as much as 36 percent, IFPRI said.

The study weighed the impacts of 11 different technologies on corn, rice and wheat yields, crop prices, trade and world hunger and found that certain combinations worked better than others. The findings could help identify practices that cash-strapped developing nations should target to combat hunger.

"The reality is that no single agricultural technology or farming practice will provide sufficient food for the world in 2050," said Mark Rosegrant, the study's lead author.

Farmers in the developing world would see the biggest overall yield gains. Drought-tolerant grain should be targeted by producers in the Middle East and parts of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, while heat-tolerant varieties offer promising yield results in North America and South Asia, IFPRI said.

Yield gains from specific technologies were higher when combined with irrigation.

"We also find that a lot of these technologies can make really large impacts on the environmental side," said Claudia Ringler, co-author of the study.

"We find reductions in harvested area needed to feed the world. We find much better outcomes on calorie availability, the number of malnourished children and generally the population at risk of hunger, and they use less natural resources," she said.

IFPRI parsed the world's arable farmland into 60 by 60 kilometer (37.3 by 37.3 mile) squares and gauged the impact of 11 different technologies and practices on yields of staple grains corn, wheat and rice under two different climate change scenarios.

Positive yield findings were then plugged into an economic model that projected their impact on commodity prices, trade and food security.

IFPRI found that no-till farming boosted corn yields by 20 percent. But when combined with irrigation, yields could rise 67 percent. Corn yields in Sub-Saharan Africa could double by 2050 with widespread adoption of irrigation and no-till.

Drought-tolerant corn could bolster yields by 13 percent in the United States and China, the top two corn consumers.

Heat-tolerant varieties of wheat could raise grain yields by 17 percent and, when combined with irrigation, yields may jump 23 percent. Precision agriculture technology was found to boost wheat yields by 25 percent.

Nutrient-efficient rice varieties could produce 22 percent more grain, the study said.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Pacesetter Grain Hopper

The Pacesetter Gain Hopper features original and innovative ideas like the patented RollerTrap™, the industry’s easiest to open and maintain trap ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form