Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


If People Don't Trust You- The Science Doesn't Matter- Jack Bobo at Alltech Ideas Conference 2017

Thu, 25 May 2017 02:13:37 CDT

If People Don't Trust You- The Science Doesn't Matter- Jack Bobo at Alltech Ideas Conference 2017
“In many ways, there’s nothing we do that has a bigger, more negative impact on the planet than agriculture, and yet, there’s nothing more critical for our daily survival,” said Jack Bobo. “The challenge we have is how to maintain and grow the benefits while reducing all those negatives.”


Bobo, chief communications officer at Intrexon, is very optimistic about the ability of scientific and technological advances in agriculture to reduce those negative impacts even as the population surpasses 9 billion. He was one of the keynoters at the 2017 Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky.


Agriculture’s impact on land and water


Currently, agriculture takes up about 40% of the Earth’s land area. The total amount of cropland is roughly equivalent to the landmass of South America. Pasture takes up about the same area as Africa.

As agriculture demands more land, the inevitable result is deforestation, with agriculture and deforestation combined responsible for 25% of our greenhouse gas production.

Agriculture’s water consumption is an even more serious problem. Nearly 70% of the Earth’s freshwater is used for agriculture. Lakes across the world are being depleted, and the Colorado River no longer flows to the ocean. Some of our most important aquifers are being drawn down past the point of recovery.



Ag-tech: Savior of a hungry, malnourished and growing world?


With so many resources going to agriculture, how is it possible that people still go to bed hungry?

According to Bobo, 9 million people die from hunger and malnutrition each year, far more than any other cause. That means that 25,000 people die each day from hunger and malnutrition. And we will need to produce 60% to 100% more food by 2050.

So, why is Jack Bobo optimistic? Because agricultural technology has made incredible improvements in the last few decades.


We are producing more food with fewer resources than ever before. Bobo compared corn production inputs per bushel for 1980 and 2011. The improvement was striking:

    40% less land
    60% less erosion
    50% less water
    40% less energy
    35% fewer greenhouse gases


It seems the ability to produce more food with fewer resources should make everyone optimistic about the future of agriculture. Clearly, that isn’t the case. According to Bobo, “consumers have never cared more, nor known less, how their food was produced.”

Farmers make up roughly 2% of the U.S. population. Consequently, very few people even know a farmer today, and they have very little knowledge of how their food is actually grown.

“If people don’t understand your industry, then it’s up to you to change that,” said Bobo.

Some food companies actually compound the problem by using outdated imagery of very small farms to market their products. Or, some will market to misperceptions because it is more in their interest to cater to that belief than to eradicate it.

Distrust of agricultural science and technology can result in regulations that will make it difficult to meet the challenge of feeding 9 billion by 2050.

It’s important, according to Bobo, that scientists work to gain people’s trust by telling their stories and explaining why they do what they do instead of just presenting the science.

“If people don’t trust you, the science doesn’t matter,” said Bobo.


Source- Alltech- written by David Butler



   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • OKC West - El Reno - Close  Thu, 24 May 2018 04:51:29 CDT
  • OKC West Sees Higher Feeder Cattle Prices Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend  Thu, 24 May 2018 04:47:59 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2018  Wed, 23 May 2018 15:26:30 CDT
  • OK Cattlemen Join in Applause of Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act's Introduction  Wed, 23 May 2018 15:21:01 CDT
  • NCBA Applauds Introduction of Legislation Addressing Hours of Service Edits for Livestock Haulers  Wed, 23 May 2018 15:04:28 CDT
  • EPA Announces Assistance for Delaware Nation in Oklahoma to Support Community Revitalization  Wed, 23 May 2018 15:00:08 CDT
  • Wednesday Afternoon Market Wrap-Up with Carson Horn   Wed, 23 May 2018 13:53:47 CDT
  • FSA County Committee Nominations to Launch June 15th - Here's What You Need to Know  Wed, 23 May 2018 13:03:06 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Livestock Exchange Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit P&K Equipment Stillwater Milling American Farmers & Ranchers KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Oklahoma City Farm Show

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    Find more about Weather in Oklahoma City, OK

       
       
    © 2008-2018 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.