The Globalization Of Geographical Patterns In Corn Farming
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1023
- Category: Farming Globalisation
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The trend of globalization has been probably the most evident worldwide phenomenon that brought about the changes in almost everything in our physical world. Change, whether positive or negative, is one thing that is common to all of us today. In almost all fields- education, business, politics and the environment, the globalization trend is challenging everything to be competitive and the farming industry is no exception. Like all others, the farming industry has been and is continually challenged by this trend to adapt to changes in order to survive. The farming industry is currently facing new challenges, meeting to new demands and is trying to adapt to multi-factor global changes.
The farming industry no longer exists for meeting the demands of food consumption. Changes in global climate, continuing scarcity of resources, technological advancement and global economic competition require that the farming industry be able to shift from traditional to innovative farming. In the case of corn production, the commodity is no longer produced in order to feed the people. “The agricultural sector entering the energy industry” and so corn farming has to play another role: of supplying energy other than food (Hofstrand, Don 2007). The growing production of corn ethanol forces the corn industry to make geographical adaptations in order to serve two masters- food and fuel. The Mexican corn farmers who raise corn for food consumption, were said to have been the leader in the production of higher quality white corn, are now in facing the challenge of cheaper prices of yellow corn produced by the Americans (Larvatus Prodeo, March 2007). Aside from this, corn farming also has to meet the demand of the commodity for feed production as the demand for poultry products also continue to rise. Advances in technology have also brought about corn genetics, which consequently enable the expansion of the geographic area that can be used for corn production.
As the world advances, more and more of the agricultural land areas are being converted to industrial use and therefore limiting the then limited resource of farmland. By 2020, 50% of the population will be living in cities, not engaged in food production (Cockcroft, Claire 2001). The corn farming industry is therefore forced to make use of such limited farmland while facing taking the burden of meeting new and growing demands for corn products. Corn farming then has to innovate farm techniques that will maximize the utilization of the limited farmland. As what Hofstrand stressed, “farmers are not the limiting resource, farmland is” (Hofstrand, Don March 2007). Another factor that forces farming innovation is global climate change. The farmers’ anticipation of the threat posed by global warming, they have been developing new technology and farming methods “to brace for the possibility of widespread drought and crop-pounding storms” (Lorentzen, Amy 2006). In the midst of the rising global temperature, traditional farming will no longer be viable changes in temperature also enabled the emergence of new crop diseases and pests that farmer have to deal with.
Research and development projects in farming have been especially beneficial for corn farmers as the yield remain good despite the changing climate conditions. Technology and this global climate change enabled the development of new farming practices, leaving traditional farming behind, for the sake of surpassing the challenges of time and climate change. Farmers are now employing new techniques such as no-till farming which is one method of the efficient methods used for soil management and of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This method is said to be “cutting down energy usage and efficiently traps organic materials to fertilize the soil” (Lorentzen, Amy 2006). Another shift from traditional farming is the emergence of breeding practices wherein crops are being developed and raised in ways that make use of soil moisture and nutrients efficiently. These breeding practices ensure that the crops can adapt to changes in the global climate.
“We are entering a new era in agriculture” (Hofstrand, Don 2007). The changes in farming are headed in an outward direction, which means that farming is changing from local to global geographic patterns in response to new demands and challenges. Risk management strategies have been developed for these reasons. New tools have been invented and innovated to make sure farming will be able to adapt to changes instead of resisting them. The latest innovation might have been the use of Precision Agriculture of which has been employed and tested on corn farming. Precision agriculture as defined by agricultural scientists, is “the usage of available technology to develop custom management of soil and crops to fit specific conditions of a small area that is within a larger unit, such as a field” (The Science Daily, September 01, 2007). In corn farming, precision agriculture is applied using the factors of soil type, landscape features and the differences in the potential crop yield in the application of fertilizer rate. The Science Daily also reported that this method has positive results in the experiments made in the corn farms in Northern Illinois during 2001-2003. With all these new corn-farming features, techniques and tools, it is clear that the changes in geographic patterns are directing corn farming to global direction. With the same crop, same players, and now severely scarce farmlands, but with new tools and farming strategies, corn farming will move ahead to face the challenges and meet the new demands of globalization.
Cockcroft, Claire (2001). “Global Agriculture 2020: Which Way Forward?” Setting the Agenda for Global Agriculture. A Roundtable Discussion. April 18, 2001. Retrieved on October 23, 2007 from http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:opNJK8YJR5gJ:www.jic.ac.uk/events/agric2020/html/Roundtable.doc+new+corn+global+farming+strategies&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&lr=lang_en
Hofstrand, Don (2007). “Energy Agriculture – Corn Ethanol” Iowa State University. March 2007. Retrieved on October 23, 2007 from http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/articles/hof/HofMar07.html
Larvatus Prodeo (2007). “The True Cost of Ethanol From Corn” March 2007. Retrieved on October 25, 2007 from http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/03/25/the-true-cost-of-ethanol-from-corn/
Lorentzen, Amy (2006). “Climate Change Forces Farming Innovation” The Washington Post. October 21, 2007. Retrieved on October 23, 2007 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/21/AR2006102100350.html
The Science Daily (2007). “Growing Corn Using Precision Agriculture” September 01, 2007. Retrieved on October 23, 2007 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831123423.htm