Sustainability Developments           in “Big Ag”“Feeding Ourselves, Sustaining the Planet”               May 16, 2012    ...
Overview• Definitions  – What is “Big Ag?”  – What is Sustainable    Agriculture?• 5 Key Aspects of  Sustainability in  Ag...
Definitions
What is “Big Ag”?• Farms owned by major U.S. corporations?   – 97% of farms are family-owned• Certain number of acres?   –...
What is “Big Ag”?“ConcentratedAnimal FeedingOperations”?  – “Animal Feeding    Operations”?  – Not “factory    farms”
What is “Big Ag”?• Organic vs. Non-  organic• Use of technology?• Farmers who do not  sell direct to  consumers?  – Some (...
“Big Agriculture” Has Many        Segments of the Industry• Will be focusing on agriculture production• Will not be delvin...
What is “Sustainable” Agriculture?
What is Sustainable Agriculture?• Under 7 USC § 3103, “sustainable agriculture” means  an integrated system of plant and a...
Five Basic Elements• Food security;• Enhance environmental quality & the natural  resources;• Increase efficient use of no...
Food Security
Feeding the World           (and Our Community)World populationexpected to grow by40% in next fewdecades.  – 9 billion peo...
Feeding the World             (and Our Community)Challenges  – Decreased supply of    farmland,  – Decreased water supply,...
Feeding the World             (and Our Community)• How Will Agriculture Meet the Future Food  Demands?  – Increase efficie...
Not All Land Is Farmable• Two-thirds of the  earth’s land is not  farmable• Ruminant animals  are able to graze that  fora...
Enhance Environmental Quality &     the Natural Resources
Enhance Environmental Quality &         the Natural Resources• Crop rotation• Intensive/rotational Grazing• Environmental ...
Efficient Use of Nonrenewable Resources
Technological Advancements• Decreased Tillage  – “No Till” farming  – “Strip till” farming  – “Medium till”    farming
BiotechnologySeed technologiesimbedding geneshave reducedrequirements forinsecticides andherbicides
Efficient Use of Nonrenewable Resources
Enhance Economic Viability
Enhance Economic ViabilityIn order to besustainable, farmshave to make money.Profit is not a badword when we talkabout sus...
Enhance Economic Viability• Precision Farming  – Variable rate    technology  – Global Positioning    Systems (GPS)
Biotechnology with Livestock• Selection based on  genetics & breeds• Expected Progeny  Differences (EPDs)• Artificial inse...
Quality of LifeFarmers want to pass theirfarm down to futuregenerations.  – Requires:     • Maintaining land & water      ...
Quality of LifeTechnological advanceshave contributed toenhancing the quality oflife of farms and farmworkers  – Allowing ...
Contact Me• Send Mail: 535 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY  10017• Call : (212) 427-2049• Email: cari@rinckerlaw.com...
Sustainability developments in big agriculture
Sustainability developments in big agriculture
Sustainability developments in big agriculture
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Sustainability developments in big agriculture

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  • In Illinois, it takes on average 2000 acres to generate enough income to be a full-time equivalentSource: Farm Costs and Returns Survey (1988-1995) and Agriculture Resources Management Survey (1996-2004), Economic Research ServiceWhat is the average salary in this room?
  • There is a goat farm in Oregon with only around 25 goats and it is considered an AFO due to the position of the livestock according to the stream
  • Farms with direct marketing have very high profit margins
  • In the next 50 years, farmers will have to grow as much food as they have in the past 10,000 years combined if we are to sustain our planet’s populationAccording to Clemson University, we will need to increase food production by 70%Farms will have to become more productive and sustainableAdvancements in agriculture will need to be made in developing countries
  • If we don’t improve our yields, experts predict we will need 300 million acres of additional farmland brought into crop production by 2030 to keep up with demandPreserving farmland; mitigating urban encroachment
  • Tell story about how cattle can convert cardboard and chewing gum to human energyTropicana orange juice factories in Florida are able to feed cattle orange peels and other byproducts Great recyclers
  • Crop rotation To prevent pest problemsMaintain soil quality Legumes add nitrogens to the soil (soybeans) Crop and soybeans Intensive/rotationalEQIP – aimed at promoting production and environmental quality while optimizing environmental benefitsFederal monies – cost-share program for producers willing to make environmental conservation improvements Monies can Erosion has been CRP – strip Land is not a renewable resource for agriculture producers. Farmers are incentivized to sustain the soil & water quality
  • Using conservation tillage, farmers decreased fuel-related emissions in 2007 – the equivalent of removing 6.3 Million cars from the road (Monsanto) Lastly large agriculture is migrating toward decreased tillage (terms like reduced tillage, minimum tillage, and Zero or No-till apply here). Adaptations to a 1 pass implement for seedbed preparation (an implement which would cut the soil, work the soil, and level the soil in 1 pass would be an example of reduced tillage. This would have the effect of some reduced fuel useage and some reduced soil erosion potential. Secondly in this area, implements are being designed to only till the soil in crop planting zone (this would be an example of minimum tillage) and these implements are called strip tillage implements. They till an area just in front of the seed placement or row of growing crop,  which would cover only about 1/3 of the land area in any given field. That is to say that 2/3 of the area is left totally undisturbed by machinery. And the third type referred to No Till has only adaptations on the planter itself allowing a 1 1/2 " to 2" strip to be prepared just in front of the seed placement. Therefore if row width is 30" and 2" is prepared, 14/15 or 93% of the field area is left totally undisturbed. Annually farmers are voluntarily increasing there acres of all 3-reduced, minimal,and no-till practices. Go to :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-till_farming  and   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip-till 
  • Secondly Big Ag's  use of New Seed Technologies and the imbedding of gene technologies that have created reduced  necessity of applied insecticides to our fields, seeds that can maximize and increase yield on less useage of weed chemicals (an effort referred to as Integrated Pest Management or IPM). Example: Triple Stacked Corn Seed with a Roundup Gene(able to apply a single application of Roundup to control weeds rather than multiple applications of chemicals to control the same level of weeds), the second part of Triple Stacked would include a Corn Rootworm protection gene or what is referred to as the Herculex Insect Protection Trait. This gene resistence creates a zero need for any pesticide for that particular major crop insect. The third part of Triple Stack would be a the Yield Guard Gene  which would protect against another major corn pest, European Corn Borer, again requiring no chemical applied for control of that major corn pest. Corn will continue the Stacking of Traits with major work going into a Drought Tolerant Gene which will produce favorable yields on less need of water. In a different crop, soybeans, we now are seeing increased use of a High Oleic Soybeans enhancing consumers benefits from a soy based trans fat solution with 20% less saturated oils of recent and past years.Go to :    http://pafarmgirl.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/understanding-stacked-corn/  http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/triple-stacked-your-favor 
  • Tissues of the growing plants are tested
  • Input costsFertilizer costsFuel costsSeed costsCosts are going up so economic viability is accomplished by reducing inputs by maintaining and increasing yield
  • The tools of precision agriculture are designed to give the farmer place the right nutrients in the right spots on the field.Varies the rate of fertilizer to points in field where where neededReduces fertilizer use overallIncreases yieldVaries rate of seed on a field-more seed inputs where productivity is supportedVariable rate technology which includes all of the Global Positioning Systems work (not unlike the technology used by large metropolitan areas with GIS utilizing layers of data and information) and of course determine precise latitude/longitude (lat/long) locations to reduce inputs of fertilizer, seed, chemicals, number of passes of equipment (consequently reducing fuel usage and soil compaction on an acre basis) and yet still producing more food and fiber for our growing populations both in the US and World. This movement is also called Precision Farming. Go to  http://www.esri.com/industries/agriculture/business/precision-farming.html
  • Artificial insemination Embryo transfersBreed selectionGenetic DNA markers – feed efficiency
  • 97% of farms are family ownedPart of roots and family
  • We are using less pesticides and other chemicals than we did in previous decades; improving the quality of life and health of workers
  • Sustainability developments in big agriculture

    1. 1. Sustainability Developments in “Big Ag”“Feeding Ourselves, Sustaining the Planet” May 16, 2012 By Cari B. Rincker, Esq.
    2. 2. Overview• Definitions – What is “Big Ag?” – What is Sustainable Agriculture?• 5 Key Aspects of Sustainability in Agriculture
    3. 3. Definitions
    4. 4. What is “Big Ag”?• Farms owned by major U.S. corporations? – 97% of farms are family-owned• Certain number of acres? – Average U.S. farm size is 1046 acres• Certain threshold of gross sales? – In 2011, average farm household had an annual net income of approximately $100K – 85-95% of farmers supplement household income with off- farm income – 82% of farming operations have less than $100K annual sales – 8% of farming operations have more than $250K of annual sales
    5. 5. What is “Big Ag”?“ConcentratedAnimal FeedingOperations”? – “Animal Feeding Operations”? – Not “factory farms”
    6. 6. What is “Big Ag”?• Organic vs. Non- organic• Use of technology?• Farmers who do not sell direct to consumers? – Some (organic) CSA’s in Long Island gross over $1 million a year
    7. 7. “Big Agriculture” Has Many Segments of the Industry• Will be focusing on agriculture production• Will not be delving into other segments of the industry – Seed dealers – Chemical producers – Food processors – Slaughter facilities – Grocery stores – Food transportation
    8. 8. What is “Sustainable” Agriculture?
    9. 9. What is Sustainable Agriculture?• Under 7 USC § 3103, “sustainable agriculture” means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that over the long-term will: – Satisfy human food and fiber needs; – Enhance environmental quality & the natural resources; – Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, when appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; – Sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and, – Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society.
    10. 10. Five Basic Elements• Food security;• Enhance environmental quality & the natural resources;• Increase efficient use of nonrenewable resources;• Improve economic viability; and,• Enhance the quality of life for farmers & society
    11. 11. Food Security
    12. 12. Feeding the World (and Our Community)World populationexpected to grow by40% in next fewdecades. – 9 billion people by 2050
    13. 13. Feeding the World (and Our Community)Challenges – Decreased supply of farmland, – Decreased water supply, and – Decreased supply of energy – Average age of today’s farmer is 55.3
    14. 14. Feeding the World (and Our Community)• How Will Agriculture Meet the Future Food Demands? – Increase efficiency – Produce more food with same resources – Conserve more natural resources • Farmland, water, energy • Decrease development & (sub)urban encroachment – Produce a product that is more affordable consumers around the globe – Improve the lives of farmers • Profitability – Succession Planning
    15. 15. Not All Land Is Farmable• Two-thirds of the earth’s land is not farmable• Ruminant animals are able to graze that forage and convert it into human energy
    16. 16. Enhance Environmental Quality & the Natural Resources
    17. 17. Enhance Environmental Quality & the Natural Resources• Crop rotation• Intensive/rotational Grazing• Environmental Quality Incentives Program (“EQIP”)• Reducing erosion• Conservation Reserve Program (“CRP”)• Farmers are motivated to protect their assets. – Land – Water – Soil quality
    18. 18. Efficient Use of Nonrenewable Resources
    19. 19. Technological Advancements• Decreased Tillage – “No Till” farming – “Strip till” farming – “Medium till” farming
    20. 20. BiotechnologySeed technologiesimbedding geneshave reducedrequirements forinsecticides andherbicides
    21. 21. Efficient Use of Nonrenewable Resources
    22. 22. Enhance Economic Viability
    23. 23. Enhance Economic ViabilityIn order to besustainable, farmshave to make money.Profit is not a badword when we talkabout sustainability.
    24. 24. Enhance Economic Viability• Precision Farming – Variable rate technology – Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
    25. 25. Biotechnology with Livestock• Selection based on genetics & breeds• Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs)• Artificial insemination• Embryo transfers• Genetic DNA Markers• Ultrasound data
    26. 26. Quality of LifeFarmers want to pass theirfarm down to futuregenerations. – Requires: • Maintaining land & water health; • Having a viable business model; • Having tax structure that encourages the succession of family farms • Having proper regulatory balance • Succession planning
    27. 27. Quality of LifeTechnological advanceshave contributed toenhancing the quality oflife of farms and farmworkers – Allowing them to do more in less time – Safer farm conditions
    28. 28. Contact Me• Send Mail: 535 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017• Call : (212) 427-2049• Email: cari@rinckerlaw.com• Subscribe to the Food & Ag Law Blog: www.rinckerlaw.com/blog• Tweet: @CariRincker @RinckerLaw• Facebook: www.facebook.com/rinckerlaw• Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/caririncker

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