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What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

I should probably ask in ten years, but 20 will force us to expand our horizons a little.  Here are my predictions.  Tell me where I'm wrong.

 

Big input suppliers will consolidate and vertically integrate.  Farrmers will have fewer and fewer choices.

 

Information will be more and more key to decisions.  Huge companies will rely on information gotten willingly or unwillingly from their own research, from the government and from farmers to shape markets and the farmer will be offered what the big corporations want to peddle.

 

Ag lenders will consolidate and many farmers will end up getting inputs from the Cargills, ADMS, Continentals, Tysons, Deere's and such of the processing world.

 

Machinery, procesining and Input producers will share market visions and try to normalize their businesses by optimizing their production practices.  John Deere will consult Cargill on how many combines to build.

 

Miniaturization and robotization will make huge inroads into ag labor on the farm.  Smaller, autonomous machines operated from a computer and serviced by a roving truck will do the work of big machines with operators.  There will always be humans around, but they need not be traditional ag labor.  There will be many more women and a lot of internn types getting in the crop.

 

Marketing will move to what we see in the poultry and swine industry.  Farmers will be encouraged to own the land and let others tell them what and how to work it.  Or maybe doctors should own the land and farm management companies would do the negotiation with DuPont/Pioneer and ADM.

 

Farming as a way of life will be shunted off to the Amish type operations.  Small, niche, labor intensive, working the edges where algorythms don't go well yet.   Hay to horse owners, ear corn for squirrel feeders, forbes and sedges for CRP ground (if there is any left).  

 

Family type farms will increasingly be part-time, off-time operations.  The regular job will provide the health insurance and pay the grocery bill.  The farm will be for fun and for wealth building, but both of those will be under pressure from big market forces described above.

 

There will still be agriculture, of course, but it will be different.

 

What is your vision?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Replies
sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

That certainly describes the last 10 years  and I don't see the process changing....

 

And Your right on --when it comes to automation and labor replacement.... anyone working with young hired farm labor is salivating at that new automated programmable tractor....  We have reached the point where a lot of our uneducated work force should be concerned for their future.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

There`s the obvious prediction of a "George Jetson" agriculture of computers totally running agriculture in 20yrs.  Of perhaps humans not being required, no more fencelines huge fields, computer planted, treated and harvested and hauled to storage with no humans involved.   Icky jobs like pig disassembly plants run by robots and the meat showing up magically in the supermarket as many city folks believe is the case now.

 

However, let`s say this election and future elections turn more towards socialism and the incentive to get rich is taken away and we downward spiral into Venezuela or South Africa of "land reform" and such, agriculture may devolve and society break down.  It may result into 19th century technology, fuedalism where a warlord protects you and the crops and in return you`re paid a small wage and protection, "rich" farmers might have a horse or ox.   Perhaps a Mad Max world.   🙂

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

There isn't the stomach for anything over an eight hour day of air conditioned driving.

This population is not going to survive a Mad Max rerun, let alone the real thing...

 

 

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

Besides BA,

Even the "cared for" are going to get tired of the empty promises and the poverty level existance of "saving the environment" at all cost.  College degrees with no future and lots of debt.  

Eventually the obvious becomes very obvious........that the demon will always be success of any form and the life of a salary or property ownership will always be more costly than selling blood and votes.

 

Just watch where the markets go when ethanol is demonized for its unanticipated success.  

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k-289
Esteemed Advisor

Re: What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

Un  - educated  concerned  -   maybe  overeducated should  be  concerned  also   -  Doubt  many  drop outs instigated our  FREE  TRADE  POLICIES --- 

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: What Will Agriculture Look Like In Twenty Years?

Smiley Very Happy  I think the cared for are becoming aware that everyone isn`t going to get the slice of pie that they were hoping for.  There just isn`t enough money and resources that the entire world can live like millionaires, it`s went on alot longer than I thought ...but who knows? maybe we really can spend ourselves rich and as long as there`s confidence, it`s never really been tried before on this scale.

 

Hold my Dr Pepper and watch this....

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