New Report Highlights Efficient Farm Production
A new Field to Market report examines the differences in agricultural sustainability and production practices from 1980-2011.
Published: Jul 19, 2012
A new report released by Field to Market, the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, demonstrates how corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, rice and potatoes are being produced more efficiently in the US than they were 30 years ago, accompanied by important improvements in farm safety and economic sustainability for producers. At the same time, increased production to meet growing demand has also resulted in greater overall resource use by many crops.
Stewart Ramsey, principal and senior economist at IHS Global Insight, which conducted the analyses for the report, notes, "Sustainability for agriculture is a complex, multidimensional topic; the intent of this report is to bring together best available data and science to inform the conversation and provide a picture of U.S. agriculture's sustainability changes over the past three decades."
A new Field to Market report examines the differences in agricultural sustainability and production practices from 1980-2011. Developed by a diverse group of stakeholders, the report analyzes national-scale trends in environmental and socioeconomic progress over time. The analyses rely on publicly available data to estimate performance on 11 agricultural sustainability indicators ranging from soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions to labor hours and debt-to-asset ratios. The trends provide broad context, enable informed discussions of priorities for more localized efforts, and create a baseline against which to monitor future change.
Fred Luckey, chairman of Field to Market, describes the report as "an innovative, scientific, and collaborative way to define and measure outcomes for sustainable agriculture. The report reflects significant progress as well as continued opportunities for improvement in the face of real sustainability challenges."
"Farmers have a great story to tell about improving conservation on their lands. We still have a lot of work ahead to meet the dual needs of production and sustainability. The way to get there is through partnerships like Field to Market and using better science and better tools to make documentable improvements in the footprint of commodity production," explained Suzy Friedman, deputy director, working lands at Environmental Defense Fund.
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Tagged: sustainable agriculture, Farm Bureau, American Farm Bureau Federation