• Posted by: EPSD Staff

U.S. Agriculture After the Pandemic

By: Steven Ramirez, Phoenix EPSD

Photo: Jonathan Dinsmore, Dinsmore Farms [Somerton, AZ]


After battling the obstacles presented by the pandemic, U.S. farmers are hoping life will go back to normal by the end of the year. But even in normal, everyday life, agriculture is constantly evolving and can be unpredictable. As vaccinations roll out and Covid-19 case numbers dwindle, many farmers are preparing for the future of U.S. agriculture.


Baily Moore is a contributor of Big Easy Magazine and believes U.S. agriculture will depend on four variables: farm structure, food demand, technology, and investment.


The number of farms has decreased over the last decade while farm size has increased. This means fewer farms are making up for the loss of production. Roughly 1.5% of farms account for 33% of U.S. output. Researchers are uncertain how these farms are going to maintain production over the coming years, especially as population increases.


As population increases, so does the demand for food. There are two drivers for food demand: income and population, both of which are predicted to increase. The smaller concentration of farms will have to ramp up production in two ways. First, the amount of product will have to increase. Second, the quality of food will have to meet the desires of those with higher incomes. But there are tools that farmers can use to their advantage in order to keep up with future trends.


The use of technology has increased in the world of agriculture and researchers believe that trend is going to continue. Equipment, tools, and software are currently used by farmers to maximize output efficiently. Robots and sprayers replace human labor on many farms throughout the U.S. Drones are used for crop monitoring. This allows farmers to gain insights as to where to apply pesticides or fertilizers, and takes into account the slope, elevation, and topography of the land.

Photo: Jonathan Dinsmore, Dinsmore Farms [Somerton, AZ]


Finally, farmers are beginning to heavily rely on investment. This has mainly become a factor in cannabis production. Producers have begun to work with consulting firms to in order to maintain compliance with the law. As cultivators continue to be successful, consulting firms become readily available to help in any way possible to form a symbiotic relationship.


As we see Covid-19 numbers decrease, farmers still face many hurdles. With technology and investment, larger farms can meet the needs of an increasing population.


For more information, you can visit: https://www.bigeasymagazine.com/2021/03/17/the-future-of-us-agriculture-what-will-be-changed/


You may reach Inspector Steven Ramirez at: sramirez@azda.gov.

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