Future food, fiber, and fuel demands will not be met by expanding cropland area; continued advances in nutrient use efficiency will moderate increased nutrient demand. With a growing population, dwindling arable land, and an increased demand for biofuels, the world cannot count on an expansion of harvested area to fill the demands of the world’s growing population. The use of genetics to improve crop productivity, promote soil conservation and management, and use nutrients efficiently is necessary. The key lies in supporting research and development in these areas. This CAST Issue Paper looks at the background leading to the current situation and addresses the resulting requirements as world food production develops during the next 40 years. The authors use data to analyze factors influencing crop production now and indications of what is to come, and they show how research regarding nutrient use, recovery, and recycling is crucial. Chair: David Zilberman, University of California -- Berkeley. IP51,March 2013, 24 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
Los herbicidas se desarrollaron durante el siglo XX para su uso con la labranza convencional con el fin de controlar malezas. Posteriormente, evolucionó la labranza de conservación (mínima), que permitió menor daño al suelo cuando se utilizaba con herbicidas. Sin embargo, las presiones de selección han tenido como resultado especies de malezas que se han adaptado para su supervivencia conjuntamente con la labranza. El gobierno de EEUU ha establecido diversos programas y políticas para ayudar a determinar la selección e implementación de programas de cultivos y conservación relacionados a herbicidas y labranza. Este artículo examina el impacto que ciertas prácticas de control de malezas han tenido en los objetivos de conservación del suelo y aborda formas de mitigar sus efectos negativos.
Presidente: David R. Shaw, Office of Research and Economic Development, (Oficina de Investigación y Desarrollo Económico) Mississippi State University, (Universidad Estatal de Misisipí), Mississippi State. IP49 SPA, February 2013, 16 pp. Gratuito. Disponible en línea e impreso (Cuota de envío y manejo).
This paper addresses specific water and land concerns related to animal agriculture. The authors consider issues of water use and water quality associated with the livestock sector and the related environmental and economic impacts. The paper also includes a discussion of livestock land use, land degradation, land application of manure and manure-based composts, and deforestation related to farm policies. This Issue Paper presents scientific data specific to North America (primarily the United States) and explains how and why these data compare with other parts of the world. Additionally, it discusses how to reduce the environmental impact of livestock agriculture while preserving resources and quality of life. Chair: Kelly D. Zering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. IP50, August 2012, 24 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
Herbicides were developed during the twentieth century to be used with conventional tillage for weed control. Conservation (or minimum) tillage subsequently evolved, which enabled less soil damage when used with herbicides. Selection pressure, however, has resulted in weed species that have made adaptations for survival in conjunction with tillage. The U.S. government has put several federal policies and programs in place that help determine the selection and implementation of crops and conservation programs in relation to herbicides and tillage. This Issue Paper examines the impact of certain weed management practices on soil conservation objectives and addresses ways to mitigate negative effects. Chair: David R. Shaw, Office of Research and Economic Development, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State. IP49, February 2012, 16 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
Energy Issues Affecting Corn/Soybean Systems: Challenges for Sustainable Production speaks to energy issues within the corn/soybean production system as a model for understanding the complexity of addressing global energy challenges. Research and development is needed to find ways to lower adoption barriers for energy-conserving practices and develop management systems that allow agricultural production to meet multiple demands. The challenges include (1) a growth in biofuel production directly from corn/soybeans coupled with a simultaneous growth in oil and agricultural commodity prices, and (2) the ability of the motor fuel infrastructure to handle an increased volume of ethanol, biodiesel, and advanced biofuels. The authors propose a landscape vision for sustainable corn/soybean systems that is feasible and could be done efficiently and economically if there is a desire and public willingness to do so. It would, among other things, provide sustainable grain and biomass feedstock supplies for the bioenergy industry, protect water quality, lessen producer/environmental risk, and promote biodiversity. Chair: Douglas L. Karlen, USDA—ARS, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa. IP48, January 2012, 16 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
The purpose of this CAST Issue Paper is to go beyond the generalizations and accusations often associated with the air quality topic. Experts from six universities examine a large amount of data and focus their information and conclusions around the key livestock areas: swine, poultry, dairy, and beef. Their critical analyses look at a wide scope of issues, from greenhouse gas emissions to the logistics of manure storage facilities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is increasing efforts to monitor emissions from agriculture, so further research is important for all parties involved, and this paper provides solid, science-based information. Chair: Larry D. Jacobson, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, St. Paul. IP47, May 2011, 24 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
Part 9, "ANIMAL AGRICULTURE'S FUTURE THROUGH BIOTECHNOLOGY." Animal biotechnology, which includes both genetic engineering and mammalian cloning, has expanded rapidly in recent decades. These technologies already have been applied in biomedical research and now are nearing application within the food system. This paper from CAST reviews animal biotechnology techniques, discusses related key ethical issues, evaluates religious views and traditions regarding animal biotechnology, summarizes public opinion research on the topic, and evaluates the challenges and opportunities for the ethical development of agricultural animal biotechnology. Chair: Paul B. Thompson, Professor of Philosophy, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics and Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing. IP46, June 2010, 16 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
This timely Issue Paper includes a preface from Dr. Norman E. Borlaug and has been prepared as an update of CAST Paper No. 1, written by Dr. Borlaug in 1973. The authors of the current paper address (1) future demands facing agriculture; (2) the relationship of bioenergy and bioproducts to agriculture; (3) major issues impacting future U.S. agricultural productivity; (4) major issues facing agricultural productivity in other parts of the world; (5) strategies to meet future food needs; and (6) examples of research areas that could enable the next "Green Revolution." The authors question the commitment by the United States and many other countries for support of agricultural research and indicate the far-reaching impact that such research, education, and resulting technology--or lack thereof--will have on the nation and the world. Chair: Gale Buchanan, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The University of Georgia, Tifton Campus. IP45, January 2010, 16 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
Despite current uncertainty about the United States' economic future, most reports suggest that growth will resume and competition for freshwater will continue.As one of the largest users of water in the United States, agriculture will be impacted significantly by changes in water availability and cost.How water managers and users respond to water use challenges will determine, in part, the long-term availability of water for municipal, agricultural, and other uses.The authors provide insight into how water challenges are being addressed in four specific areas of the United States as helpful case studies in developing solutions to similar water issues in other regions.Chair: Dr. Sharon Megdal, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson. IP44, November 2009, 20 pp.FREE.Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
PART 8, "ANIMAL AGRICULTURE'S FUTURE THROUGH BIOTECHNOLOGY." This new paper, "Animal Productivity and Genetic Diversity: Cloned and Transgenic Animals," discusses two of the most recent reproductive technologies used to improve agronomic traits in livestock. One main limitation to the further development and use of these technologies has been the lack of public acceptance. The 8-member international Task Force of this new Issue Paper suggests that the government develop a regulatory process that addresses consumers' apprehension while offering realistic expectations of biotechnology. The authors address topics including the cloning of farm animals for breeding and direct food consumption; disease resistance in transgenic animals; and the use of transgenics for improved food safety and quality, decreased environmental impact, and increased production efficiency. Chair: Robert Wall, Agricultural Research Service's Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Beltsville, Maryland. IP43, August 2009, 16 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
CAST assembles, interprets, and communicates credible science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public.