Many of these trends have also been discussed thoroughly at presidential debates. In general, all these agriculture industry trends are somehow related to achieving better environmental sustainability and farm profitability.
Mentioned below are the most important agriculture trends that are likely to impact the industry in the near future.
Soil Health: Soil health is extremely critical for the industry because it is an important weapon for fighting against soil erosion. It has emerged as one of the most important trends in agriculture because soil conservation is directly linked to the food security of the country and it can also help fight climate change.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or FAO, sustainable soil management can help increase the country’s food production by 58%. As farmers have started understanding the value of productive soil, tools such as no-till, cover crops, soil amendments, and others have gained popularity in farming circles. Moreover, ensuring proper soil health is one of the best ways for farmers to protect their land for the generations to come.
Columbia University’s Earth Institute claims that approximately 25% of the world’s fossil fuel emissions can be removed each year by soil. Therefore, improving soil health can also be critical to minimizing climate change.
Regenerative Agriculture: Regenerative agriculture refers to the practices of farming and grazing that are focused around regenerating topsoil. This allows farmers to maintain crop yields, support biosequestration, enhance farm profitability, and improve water retention and plant uptake. The recent focus of the industry on improving soil health has pushed regenerative agriculture to the limelight.
Hemp: Since the legalization of hemp as a viable crop by the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, hemp acreage has emerged as a big opportunity for American farmers as well as agriculture tech companies. From $4.6B in 2019, hemp is expected to grow to $26.6B in 2025. This growing trend has been supported by the fact that hemp is a sustainable product. You can visit i49 to find out more about the potential of hemp in the future American agriculture sector.
Indoor Vertical Farming: The concept of indoor vertical farming has now gained popularity all over the country. Though growing a vertical farm is considerably expensive compared to a traditional farm, its advantages are too lucrative to be ignored. The yield potential of indoor farms is higher because of the ability to grow year-round. Also, less water and fewer pesticides are required because crops are grown in controlled environments.
Use of Water: As farmers in America have become conscious of sustainability practices, they have started making an effort to reduce the use of water. The FAO informs that there are many ways for them to become more energy efficient.
Avoiding midday sprinkling to minimize direct evaporation during irrigation
Keeping the inter-row strips dry and mulching to reduce evaporation from bare soil
Selection of most marketable and suitable crops for a given region.
Optimal timing for plantation and harvesting
Monitoring of water table elevation for avoiding progressive salinization
Ensuring long-term sustainability by practicing soil conservation
Cover Crops: More and more American farmers are now opting for cover crops. According to the results of a survey conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education department (SARE), the growing interest in cover crops is because of the fact that it increases soil organic matter, control weeds help soil compaction, and reduces soil erosion.