No-Till Will Definitely Be Playing A Major Role In Feeding Over 10 Billion People Around The World Just 30 Years From Now

With the world expected to need twice as much food to keep 10 billion people from going hungry by 2050, we’re going to have to dramatically increase our yields.

Dennis Avery, an ag economist with the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., believes current yields will have to triple to meet the growing demand for food.

Avery believes a key to meeting these needs will be pumping up corn populations to as much as 60,000 corn plants per acre.

Two Bad Things

Avery says there are only two choices if crop yields around the world can’t be pushed to much higher levels:

Lots of people will starve.

We’ll have to plow down much of the land in the world that is best suited for wildlife simply to produce low-yielding crops.

“Growing more plants per acre seems to be an obvious strategy, but it won’t be easy,” says Avery. “Fields will need consistent rains, irrigation or supplemental irrigation in well-watered regions. We may need drought-tolerant seeds, along with lots of fertilizer and careful management to keep nitrogen from leaching into streams.”

He believes we may see a redesign of corn leaves to maximize the amount of heat that can be intercepted from the sun. And he thinks we’re going to need many more acres of no-till to keep the soil from slipping away during storms, even though we currently have 288 million acres of no-till worldwide.

When it comes to no-tilling much higher plant populations, Avery cites the example of Stine Seed…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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