The farmers and ranchers of the next generation will face new challenges and new opportunities as they work to provide food for people worldwide. Here are five of the shifts they’ll likely face in the years and decades to come.
1. The World’s Population Will Grow
The United Nations estimates that the world’s population will reach almost 11 billion people by 2100. Most of that growth is projected to take place in Africa and Asia. So, the next generation of farmers will have opportunities to:
- Base their farms and ranches on these continents
- Invest in transportation so their products can reach consumers
- Grow durable crops with long shelf lives that can travel without spoiling
2. Demand for Food Will Shift
According to the World Government Summit’s report, Agriculture 4.0: The Future of Farming Technology, more people are moving to cities, and their incomes are increasing. When people have more money, they buy higher quality meat and produce. That creates opportunities for ranchers and farmers to meet this growing demand.
3. Farmland Care Will Improve
As science and technology advances – and our understanding of land health grows – farmers of the future will have better resources and knowledge to make decisions with the long-term health of their farmland in mind. Using known practices like crop and grazing rotation and precision agriculture, as well as new methods continually being developed, farmers can improve their yield per acre while maintaining the land for future generations.
4. New Opportunities Will Create New Ways to Farm
Farmers of the future will have a variety of new agricultural avenues and techniques to experiment with. With this increase in opportunities, the next generation of farmers may need to explore new ideas such as:
- Growing with hydroponics
- Using algae for animal feed
- Turning to robotic tractors and sprayers to automate fieldwork
- Harnessing the power of the world’s deserts and oceans to expand farming opportunities
- Creating vertical farms, especially in urban areas
5. Technology Will Streamline Farming Practices
Improvements in technology and more widespread applications to farming and ranching equipment will make it easier for the next generation to analyze everything from historical data to the weather. Drones, for example, will make it easier to:
- Evaluate soil
- Plant crops
- Spray and monitor fields
- Irrigate appropriately
- Spot diseases
Check Your Coverage
Making decisions about the future of your ag operation is tough work. Make sure you have the right amount of farm and ranch insurance to protect your investment.