The agriculture industry influences many sectors of the economy locally and internationally. From farmers and real estate to supermarkets and restaurants, it’s essential to understand what is going on in this industry and how it will affect the production and distribution of food. In addition, these agricultural trends being seen this year are likely to set the stage for many years going forward and beyond. Issues like new vaccinations, the use of global water resources, and the recent technological ability to monitor crops will continue to play a role in the United States and agricultural procedures in the rest of the world.
Vaccines are an incredible human accomplishment. In the new year, vaccines continue to be applied to many areas of agriculture. In addition, efforts are being made to help provide even more access to animal vaccines. In the United States, officials are concerned about the spread of particular vaccine-preventable illnesses in livestock. As a result, they are trying to set up a bank to combat FMD disease. They are concerned there are only about 1.75 million doses on hand. Officials hope to receive the desired twenty-five million doses via a vaccine bank.
Attracting New People
Another issue that remains at the forefront of efforts to make agriculture continue to pay off is attracting new people to the farming world. Many graduates who enter farming programs face a great deal of debt once they finish their studies. In the meantime, the average age of current farmers is about sixty. Farmers want to work closely with young people to the mutual benefit of both parties and think about their retirement. Helping young people discover how rewarding agriculture can be is essential. Officials are working to help them reduce their debt and find a place for themselves in this all-important world.
Increased Income For Small Farmers
Large farm operations constitute less than half of all farms in the United States. Yet these farms are expected to continue to rise. Experts who watch the farm industry closely anticipate that such farms will experience growth and income of about 9.3 percent compared to the previous year. Small farms help power the rest of the sector and bring much-desired food to many parts of the United States and the rest of the world. This increased income should help farmers pay their bills and provide additional capital to invest in new equipment.
Crop Monitoring and Other Technologies
Just as technology has transformed many areas of the economy, it will continue to impact the world of farming. According to officials at the FCC, over twenty-four million Americans lack access to broadband internet. Farmers are increasingly rising to the challenge and discovering new ways to use broadband and other forms of technology to work for them. A farmer can now use many apps to monitor crops daily. Less expensive drones deliver things where and when they are needed.
Agricultural drones are easier to fly and easier to understand the data they provide. These are also drones that can respond well even in changing weather conditions. Extremely localized weather data is also being offered. Now farmers can have even more detailed predictions about the state of the local weather in their area. This helps them determine what should be planted in any given timeframe and if crops should be harvested if weather conditions change in their area.
Lightweight graphene is also used to provide even more data about field and soil conditions in any given area. This kind of “plant tattoo” can help scientists and farmers work together to decide how best to use soils and breed better plants with higher yields and more able to survive under less-than-ideal conditions.
Focus on Tariffs
A tariff is a tax on goods and services imported from one place to the next. In the United States, as in the rest of the world, there are many farmers who not only grow and share what they grow with local markets. Many farmers also sell to other parts of the world. The American president has chosen this method to push forth specific global policies to influence policy in other places. At the same time, the president and his advisors recognize that such efforts might cause problems for farmers in the United States. This is why the president has provided a sixteen-billion-dollar package to help offset the worst effects of this problem. Those observing agriculture in the United States and worldwide observe this issue. It is unclear what effects subsidies and tariffs will have on farmers’ income. These funds should continue to impact the world of agriculture this year, the new few years, and even beyond.
Food safety is a significant concern for farmers and all those involved in agriculture. Farmers need to be aware of the potential for contamination as they work in the fields and transport food from one place to the next. Even a minor problem, such as an e. coli outbreak, can lead to severe costs that farmers must be prepared to absorb. Experts estimate that such expenses vary by the kind of farm and the type of material being grown and produced. These costs range from about a third of a percent for those ever-increasing artichokes to more than two percent of profits for farmers bringing watermelon to market.
Furthermore, these costs may continue to grow as farmers face increased regulations in the future. Therefore, it’s imperative for all those who are involved in farming to be aware of all upcoming laws that may impact their current farming methods. Doing so can help ward off potential problems and protect all their products from contamination.
The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for farmers to produce and sell all forms of hemp. This substance can create many items for those who want to smoke it at home. The hemp market is poised to see enormous growth in the United States. In 2017, the entire market in the United States was estimated at $820 million. Experts who watch this industry anticipate much further growth in this field in the coming year due to making it legal to grow and use hemp. Farmers can now make this crop part of their overall crops and set aside a specific farm area to bring it to market. Experts caution that any farmer thinking about doing so makes sure they understand the ramifications of this new law and precisely what it means for all who choose to make this crop their own.
Interaction With Clients
Direct interaction with clients is a must for all workers and business owners. The same is true for farmers. Farmers have increasingly understood the need to speak to their consumers directly. Using social media makes this process easier. Farmers can create a website and help people find them. For sure, for farmers, this process has been beneficial. For example, those who run farms that grow pick-your-own crops want to ensure that anyone visiting them understands what crops are available before arriving. Studies indicate that forty percent of all farmers are on Facebook. Many others use social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, to connect with people locally and worldwide. Social media accounts can also make it clear that farmers play a vital role in the region’s economy and community. Knowing who’s growing one’s food makes people feel more connected to the land.
Corn Takes Center Stage
Corn has long been one of the most popular of all American crops. It continues to assume a significant role in American agriculture. In the United States, officials at the FDA state that about 89.8 million acres of corn should be planted in the country. This is up from 86.7 million acres in the previous year. Corn plays a significant role not only in the United States. The amount of corn grown in the United States also helps to feed the rest of the world. Foreign governments and the people they serve will continue to rely on this crop from the United States to help them put food on the table.
Water is the foundation of many crops in the U.S. and worldwide. Water access continues to be one of the many issues farmers will face this coming year. Agriculture consumes eighty percent of all water use in the United States. Farmers are looking for ways to help them reduce water consumption for their crops. In many instances, they are choosing to harvest more water in their fields. They’re also reusing the water that they use. For example, using so-called dirty water can help provide water for their animals and then get used to help water the crops when they are done drinking.