Agriculture is the backbone of the US economy and it is critical that the agriculture industry is seen as a key economic driver.
That is the main message of a new research paper released this week.
The authors, who include a former governor of New York, a former agriculture secretary, a US Senator and a former senior USDA official, say that the US needs to get behind the industry to get its agriculture business back on track.
The report, commissioned by the Association of American Agriculture Agribusinesses (AAAI), examines the challenges and opportunities for the US agriculture industry.
The paper will be presented at the American Association of State Agricultural Economists (AASEA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, December 5.
The AAAI paper, “A Changing Landscape for the American Agriculture Industry”, describes how agriculture is evolving in the 21st century.
It highlights the need for better quality and technology and a focus on increasing profitability of farm operations, while the US government continues to push the sector to become more competitive.
A key theme is that the industry is changing.
It is getting bigger, it is changing and the need is there to adapt to it, said Michael O’Leary, AAAI chairman and chief executive officer.
“There is no longer an outdated model of farming.
The US agriculture sector has undergone tremendous transformation,” Mr O’Loughlin said.
“The American farmer has always been a leader in the marketplace, but the change is significant.”
A lot of our work in agriculture is about making sure we understand that change and adapt,” he said.”
We are going through the transition from the traditional farm to the digital, from the rural to the urban, and we are moving into a new era, a digital era, and the transition is going to be long.
We are not going to succeed overnight.
The American farmer needs to have a clear vision for how to change and how to adapt.
We have a lot to learn, and I think the paper does a good job of bringing us back to that sense of innovation that has been so valuable,” Mr Mr O’sullivan said. “
Agriculture is changing rapidly, so there is a lot of innovation going on in the agricultural sector.
We have a lot to learn, and I think the paper does a good job of bringing us back to that sense of innovation that has been so valuable,” Mr Mr O’sullivan said.
The agricultural sector is still growing, but not at the rate that the world has expected.
It grew at 2.6 per cent in the first half of 2018, the smallest annual growth rate since the Great Recession, and is expected to grow another 1.8 per cent this year.
The number of farmworkers in the workforce is expected also to grow by 1.4 per cent to 8.2 million.
“This is not a perfect forecast, but it is what the data tells us,” said Mark Weisbrot, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
“But the real takeaway is that farm workers are now more productive than ever before.
That means that agriculture is more likely to be profitable than ever, and that means that we need to be thinking about how we are going to support those workers in their jobs and their careers,” Mr Weisbowt said.
The paper finds that the United States is on a path to becoming a net exporter of grain.
The most recent US Census data show that total US grain exports are projected to grow at a rate of 8.1 per cent over the next five years.
The data is not necessarily an accurate reflection of how the US agricultural sector will look in 2045, because the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany are expected to be major players in the sector.
The United States was the biggest importer of wheat in 2016 and the most net importer in 2021.
The main US wheat exporters are Canada, Germany, Mexico and Japan.
“We can expect to see increased exports of grain, with the United Nations having already indicated that a significant portion of its wheat exports are to Asia, China and India,” Mr Sullivan said.
In the paper, the authors note that the agribusial sector is evolving as well.
“I think what we have seen over the last 20 years is that agriculture has become more complex and more integrated,” Mr Naughton said.
“[Agricultural systems] are changing, and there are some really big changes happening in terms of technology, the ways that we think about farming, and how we think of the role of agribuses.”
A recent study by the US Department of Agriculture showed that the share of US farm income going to wages fell from 37 per cent before the Great Depression to 29 per cent by 2010.
“That is very dramatic,” said Mr Ollerton.
“A lot more people are working in agriculture than they were even 20 years ago