The ten global macro trends that will guide agricultural development this 2018

Greater regulations, changes in agricultural structure and consumption habits are some of the factors that will set the international market pattern this year.

Smart producers must consider micro and macro changes because that will keep them competitive. And they must be flexible, because that will allow them to develop, according to Richard Brock, president of Brock Associates, a marketing services commodity that has identified 10 emerging issues for agriculture in a recent report.

"One of our potentially unnoticed megatrends is the rapid adoption and impact of automation technology," Brock notes.

Technology, including self-directing machines and plant genetics, could have a big effect this year as field teams complete more work in less time.

For Brock it is essential to educate the youngest producers and examine various risk management tools.

He adds that the premium niche markets will accelerate. And that low-cost producers will also earn a place.

These are the changes that producers should look at with special interest:

1. The change of the agricultural structure. A massive transfer of agricultural assets to young producers will occur soon. The average farmer currently has 57 years, and 30% is above the 65.

2. Technological acceleration The analysis of data will replace what farmers know intuitively in the next few years - and in some cases they will refute those beliefs. The new producers rely on satellite images, green sensors, land maps and millions of climate information points. The question of ownership of information will be the subject of a growing debate.

3. The biotechnology strategy evolves. The Modified Living Organisms have come to stay, but they face obstacles in their political and public relations. In US states Like Vermont, there is a labeling requirement on products of this type, but it is an expensive procedure. It should be noted that in Peru it should be defined towards the 2021 if its entry should be allowed.

4. The specialization will continue. Agricultural production is becoming more specialized. In the USA, up to 1982, the 35% of the total fields produced corn, but in the 2007 only 22% did so because of economies of scale, technological advances and government policies. Today farmers diversify with organic products and highly oleic beans.

5. Lack of sources. More than 40% of the increase in food production since 1961 has been achieved through irrigation, but the provision of groundwater is not infinite. And climate change is a factor to be taken into account. Scientists estimate that for each increase of 1.8 ° F in temperature, the key crops decrease 10%.

6. A changing commodity environment. Products such as corn have as a factor for the establishment of their price to the value of oil. The link between energy and crop prices is very large. To this we must add that China is already taking action on the matter and is developing its own crops. In fact, the Asian country, which currently acquires two thirds of all the soybeans that are traded, has created its own stock of this product and has already covered the 17.4% of its use, which will appease its import appetite.

7. Change in meat consumption. Meat consumption fell 7.8% between 2007 and 2013 in the US Meanwhile, China has been the largest consumer of meat since 1992. For 2012, China's consumption exceeded twice that of the US. For 2022, Chinese consumption of red meats and poultry projects an increase of 15.2%. USA probably send more shipments of pork and less food grains to the country. This is because for China it is more cost-effective to import finished goods. Globally it is expected that the demand for red meat and poultry will grow 15.1% between 2013 to 2025.

8. Public scrutiny on the treatment of livestock. Consumer demand and regulatory insistence on a variety of livestock care in sustainable and humane ways are causing rapid changes in the food system. Large food companies and supermarket chains are leaving behind the use of sow-birthing cages in their supply chains. In view of the sharpened consumer interest, transparency can be a good tool.

9. The influence of environmental concern increases. From fertilizers to pesticides, farmers have to be careful with a growing network of regulations. In U.S.A. There are legal battles in this regard to establish maximum limits to their use and influence, a trend that is already beginning to be seen between us. +

10. The flow of government policies. Successive governments around the world are establishing regulations on land use, biofuels, use of genetically modified organisms and monetary policy, which seems to be over. The biggest change would occur in China, which is slowly adopting Modified Living Organisms for its domestic crops with the long-term goal of becoming self-sufficient and potentially becoming a net exporting country.


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