Balancing Food Production and Environmental Impacts

Posted: March 14, 2017

Penn State research published in Bioscience suggests that world food production likely will need to increase between 25% and 70% to meet 2050 demand, rather than needing to double as is frequently posited. Furthermore, according to the researchers, agriculture's environmental impacts are increasing and must drop dramatically to maintain clean water and stabilize the climate.

The assertion that we need to double global crop and animal production by 2050 is not supported by the data, argues Mitch Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy, in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. He says the analysis shows that production needs to keep increasing, but not as fast as many have claimed.

However, clarifying future food demand is only part of the story.