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The outlook suggests that the most suited region for U.S. crop production will shift northward as global temperatures increase. Although it's dangerous to read too much into one year's statistics, North Dakota surpassed Kansas as the nation's top wheat-producing state last year, due primarily to Kansas droughts.
Theoretically, reduced production along the southern edge of the country's grain-producing regions should be offset by increased production along the northern edge. The Corn Belt (and Soybean Belt) is already pushing up past the Canadian border, and Canada's wheat-producing zone is creeping farther north. But in reality, the shift is still likely to produce a net loss in crop production, said Jerry Hatfield, director of the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment.
"We're going to consume soil resources, because the urban population that we're going to build up is going to consume more land as well," he said. "We'll lose other parts of the land because of excessive erosion and degradation that occurs. As we move agriculture north, we're going to be putting it in areas that don't have the same water-holding capacity, nutrient-holding capacity."
Hatfield said the world's increasing population, plus the rise in per capita consumption that comes with economic development, will add to the pressure. Between the year 2000 and 2050, "we basically have to produce the same amount of food as we've produced in the last 500 years," he said.
originally posted by: AzureSky
Overpopulation is a myth. When they say there isn't enough resources, they simply mean there isn't enough money in it. IE: Feeding the world is too expensive.
If the land dries up, then we must start getting into vertical hydroponic farming. You can route water to the area if need be. And the destruction of the soil table would cease.
originally posted by: SouthernForkway26
I live in an Illinois in an area that some farmers were getting 250+ bushels of corn per acre. Every year it goes up and up. A few years ago when spring planting season would seem to come earlier there was talk among the local farmers that they could possibly get 2 crops in one season with just a couple more good weeks. The corn here grows 10 ft tall, and while that sounds good they were actually looking for varieties that mature shorter because it would take less time for it to be ready. The last couple years the weather wouldn't have made this possible at all so that talk is less prevalent right now. If we start having longer summers and shorter winters you can bet it will be back on their minds.
Also to add that the earth can still support a much larger population. There are still many places that crops could be planted that aren't. Places like cloverleafs on the interstate, front lawns of homes, ect. There is still more we can do before desperate measures like population reduction becomes necessary.
originally posted by: lostbook
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: SouthernForkway26
Every year it goes up and up.
Ain't GM crops grand?
Well Phage, you know that the irony here is that GM crops might be what prevents mass starvation in the near future.