“Demography is destiny,” this a quote by French sociologist was coined to describe the European real estate situation of the 19th century.
Over the years I have often pondered on that simple quote as to how it pertained to agriculture especially with the world’s rapidly growing population. With the environment and climate being the main theme of discussions in recent years, it is easy to forget that food security is our number one goal.
We are told that we are within decades of a world population numbering almost 10 billion people. In a world where 690 million people still go to bed hungry every night, it is surely a symptom of western comfort that we can speak of climate mitigation measures such as in the recent climate bill approved by Government with little thought for its affects on global food supply.
China has recently allowed couples to have up to three children, this is bound to lead to further demands on the global food supply. The Chinese are not able to feed themselves from their own resources so much of their food is imported and much of our produce goes to China especially in terms of animal proteins like baby formula. China is just one example of a growing population that needs to be fed. Global food production will have to rise by 70% by the year 2050 in order to feed the residents of the globe.
Where is all this extra food production going to come from? I have spoken before of the lack of new blood entering agriculture which all leads back to demography. Add this to a rapidly growing population, it all points to higher food prices. Agriculture will be a career of great opportunity much of this owing to the fact that the number of farmers are declining.
If you look at technology, money has poured into Ag tech startups and Ag tech is destined to play a huge role in the farm of the future but it will not replace the farmer of the future. Those who plot a course as farmers of the future have the potential to create great wealth as opportunity exists where others have abdicated responsibility. Let’s just hope agriculture will be at the leading edge of business going forward not the bleeding edge as the sacrificial lamb for climate change mitigation.
Oh what a difference a year makes, this day last year we were feeding zero grazed grass under the paddock wire as a buffer feed to the milking herd. Today we are mowing surplus paddocks of grass on the dairy platform. We have been consistently recording growth rates of over 100kg/ hectare for the past ten days. Currently we are measuring the farm twice weekly as things are changing fast.
With ground out for reseeding, we are stocked a little heavier so we have to be that bit extra judicious with our grazing management. The software such as the pasture base app and the grasshopper empower us to make higher quality decisions but managing grass is as much an art as it is a science and sometimes we have to listen to our gut when making the final call on any decision.