Peak farmland means more room for nature

The following is an edited excerpt.

“Humanity now stands at Peak Farmland, and the 21st century will see release of vast areas of land, hundreds of millions of hectares, more than twice the area of France for nature,” declared Jesse Ausubel, the director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, in a December lecture. Ausubel was outlining the findings in a new study he and his collaborators had done in the Population and Development Review. Unlike other alleged resource “peaks,” peak farmland reflects not the exhaustion of resources but the fruits of human intelligence and growing affluence.

The trend toward reducing farming’s impact on nature took off with the Green Revolution of the 1960s. That leap in agricultural productivity was sparked by plant breeder Norman Borlaug and his colleagues, who created new high-yield varieties of wheat and rice, an effort so successful that Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

Read the full post here: Peak Farmland?

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