USDA unveils initiative to halve US farming environmental footprint, boost production 40% by 2050


The world’s population is likely to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050. The global agriculture sector will not only need to produce enough to meet the demand, but will also need to protect the natural resource base on which agriculture depends for current and future production.

[Editor’s note: Sonny Perdue is agriculture secretary of the United States.]

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Sonny Perdue

Additionally, farmers are having to adapt to market trends where consumers have an increasing interest in the environmental footprint of the products they buy. These stressors are occurring at a time when farmers are dealing with uncertainty in the agriculture economy and with the conditions needed to farm. The growing population, demand for sustainable solutions, and environmental challenges all require bold goals and bold actions.

Related article:  USDA scientist: Cover crops check soil degradation—major threat to global food security

That is why we are announcing a bold path forward for the U.S. Department of Agriculture called the Agriculture Innovation Agenda. Our motto at USDA is to “Do Right and Feed Everyone,” and we work every day to fulfill that motto by having an ethical focus on consumers.

Our goal for the Agriculture Innovation Agenda is to increase the productivity of U.S. agriculture by 40% while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050.

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