The Rise of Sustainable Agriculture
During the last century, agriculture became more mechanized, while new technologies and crop protection tools allowed for substantially increased yields. However, nowadays topsoil depletion, groundwater contamination and increased production costs mean growers are turning their focus towards soil health and sustainable production systems.
Other challenges around pricing and profitability are surfacing too. Not only is there a widening disparity among farmer incomes and continued concentration of agribusiness into fewer and fewer hands, but farmers also battle limited market competition and the inability to control prices.
Today’s farmers receive a smaller portion of the consumer dollars spent on agricultural products, which cuts into their profitability and negatively impacts their ability to do more with less.
“We really have to stop and think about what happens if we continue down this path,” Morris says. “If we don't change, we could run out of healthy soil, clean water or viable land. We could run out of growers themselves, and ultimately, out of food.”
Fortunately, sustainable agriculture provides a solution.