Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Agriculture and Our World in 2050

We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I do, since my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will hopefully be around then and well into the 22nd century.

The following is a brief collection of predictions about the agriculture industry and our world in 2050 that you might find interesting. These predictions were extracted from multiple reports and studies by groups around the world focused on the future of America and this planet.

So here goes! Expect the following predictions and/or future scenarios to become a reality over the next few decades - specifically focusing on the agriculture industry:
  • Demand for Food and Water resources will grow substantially as the global population increases to almost 10 billion people by 2050, though populations should reach a plateau by then.
  • Unfortunately, given current trends, much of the world's fish stocks in the ocean could become extinct by 2050.
  • Global yields of food crops could also plummet nearly 10% by 2050 leading to food scarcity as climate change and other factors come into play.
  • High-tech solutions, robotics, precision farming systems, as well as approaches borrowed from organic farming, will all all needed to boost yields several times over to meet the growing global demand.
  • Use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or plants will be widespread on farms everywhere - especially as 'Big Farming' companies drive many small family farms out of business.
  • Expect to see widespread use of drones, autonomous self-driving farming vehicles, and 'open' farming equipment - see Open Ecology.
  • The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will occur by 2050. Renewable energy will provide up to 80% of U.S. needs and both the high cost and scarcity of energy on Earth will be a thing of the past.
  • Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 4°F by 2050 making storms far more intense, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones.
  • Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding large swaths of low lying coastal areas in the U.S. around the world.
  • Approximately 5 billion of the world's projected 10 billion people will live in water-stressed and food-scarce areas leading to the potential of mass migrations and regional conflicts.
What else do you think will happen by 2050? What does all this mean to you?

*Check out more detailed projections documented in 'Our Changing World by 2050'. Also, read “How to Feed the World in 2050”, published by the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization

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