Leading the way to higher food production utilizing less water and energy is a lofty goal to feed the increasingly hungry world. As the population expands demand will increase energy and fresh water use are both exponentially becoming critical to humanities ability to not only survive but save our planet.
Food production requires both energy and water. Quality food production without growth hormones, pesticides, and many other types of toxins has become high priority for many consumers. Look at Whole Foods success and the organic food craze. Who in the world would not choose a healthier diet given the opportunity?
So how do we get from old traditional farming techniques to a more efficient, productive, resource conserving food producing world? Can the free market with innovation and capitalism driven by consumer demand really make the numbers work? New innovative irrigation technology has made huge strides in recent years in both production and water consumption. We all know the government spending our money, picking winners and losers is not the answer, it up to you and me.
From the beginning of cultivation and farming, they have lived and died by the fickle and unpredictable weather, praying for rain, cursing floods and drought. Weather affects crops to the extreme. Our world weather patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable. You can not argue with the statistics, the ice caps are melting and the last ten years have had record warm temperatures. Drought currently grips much of the world. The weather has the potential to put world food supplies at extremely vulnerable levels in the near future.
Drought and flooding today is having a dramatic affect on food production in Europe, China, Africa, America, and Russia
As the wealth effect spreads throughout the emerging markets, protein is in increasingly higher demand. This is not a fad; China and India are demanding more beef, pork, dairy, and poultry. These countries consist of billions of consumers; all who would like to eat more like Americans, less rice! The middle class in these countries is exploding and they now have the discretionary income to demand higher quality foods. China has 20 percent of the world’s population and only 7 percent of the arable farm land. They have a serious problem with drought right now compounding their dilemma.
At the same time the aquifers of the world are dropping. Much of the world’s food production is not only subject to fickle weather patterns requiring the pumping ground water. This resource may be a far greater problem than peak oil. It is a combination of dwindling availability and contamination.
The average cow will drink 30 to 50 gallons of fresh water or a bath tub full per day, and eat up 90 pounds of feed. Hogs or pork production is not much different. Growing corn requires nearly 3000 gallons of water per bushel, Alfalfa requires about one acre foot per ton of hay, which is 325,851 gallons of fresh water per ton. These farm animals are the only source of the beef and pork the world demands. Cows are of course the primary source of dairy. All protein rich foods.
Speaking of the cattle, pork, and dairy industries, if you think you can keep antibiotics out of animals, dairy, and farming, you are dreaming. Prior to penicillin people regularly died from simple infections. You or some of the people you love would be dead today if you had been denied antibiotics.
So this brings us to the balance of the human food sources, fruits, vegetables, and grains. None of these grow without fresh water and good quality arable farm ground. Arable farm is a shrinking natural resource world wide. Aquifers world wide are dropping and irrigation pumping restrictions and reductions are becoming common in some of the most fertile and productive growing areas in the world.
The world will reward richly those who can produce quality food utilizing less water, less energy, and less land, or better yet turn today‘s unproductive lands into food producing regions.
Nevada has abundant affordable land, sunshine, and excellent solar intensity. Much of this land does not produce crops today. Can geothermal climate control coupled with solar, heat and cool green houses? Can hydroponics growing techniques reduce water consumption? Is it possible to eliminate the weather risk and seasonal limitations in farming by bringing farming indoors?
There are many ways you protect yourself and help solve the inevitable food and water shortages. Build your own greenhouse, get some egg laying chickens, get involved in your community gardening program or help develop one. Become educated about water consumption and use. Plant a garden. Move to a small farm .
If you are interested in the business opportunity utilizing affordable land to bring food production indoors in Nevada, call Chris W. Miller at 435-862-5951. We have the business plans, water rights, and the land.
Chris W. Miller