ANALYSIS-U.S. agriculture squeezed by demand, climate
09.21.08, 1:21 PM ET
United States - By Christine Stebbins
ST. LOUIS, Sept 21 (Reuters) - U.S. agriculture faces the daunting task of growing enough crops to meet the demands of both a hungry world and the booming new biofuels industry while reducing its impact on climate change.
That formidable challenge hung over discussions this week at a U.S. soybean industry conference that chewed over topics from biodiesel fuels to agriculture's own greenhouse gases.
Agriculture was seen by some as a boon, producing alternative fuels that can reduce the man-made emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide cited by most scientists as the prime mover in global climate change.
But others were concerned about agriculture's own contributions to climate change and agriculture as a potential target in future government policies on climate change.
Agriculture accounts for more than 10 percent of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions through fertilizers, rice and livestock production, deforestation and other land use, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in 2007. Read More
I have talked a lot about how agriculture has had to produce more with less. The demand for food continues to grow and yet there is a push to stop agriculture from utilizing modern production techniques. Agriculture has considerably reduced our carbon footprint over the years yet it seems as though we have become the easy target on this issue. It is essential to remember that if we have nothing to eat, we won’t be around to see if the climate changes.