Ag in the 21st Century

Published in the August 2009 Issue Published online: Aug 03, 2009
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After many years of successfully publishing Sugar Producer magazine—2010 marks 35 years—the 21st Century arrived and brought unprecedented challenges as well as incredible opportunities in agriculture.

We have been there to communicate those changes to you.

America’s producers have faced trials in globalization, technological changes, trade issues, federal budget constraints, climate changes, high energy costs, land-development pressures and increasing environmental and food safety concerns.

Profound impacts from these concerns are affecting rural communities. The future prospects for sustaining a prosperous and vibrant farm economy are attention-grabbing.

These challenges are opening up new markets and investments.

For example, agriculture-related projects in bio-fuels, renewable energy like wind power, energy production and habitat preservation for recreation and hunting are showing diverse sources of income.

Terms such as diversity, sustainability and climate change are fashionable in daily conversations. And yet how many really understand, for example, the implications of the newly passed American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009?

It should be noted that many ag industry groups supported the act, while some were unhappy about the impacts the bill will have on agriculture and energy.

Dissatisfied with the bill is The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), as they issued a statement saying, “TFI takes exception to H.R. 2454. As written, the legislation will render the U.S. nitrogen industry uncompetitive and threatens to force fertilizer production overseas to countries that do not regulate emissions resulting in a loss both for the economy and for the cause of reducing CO2 emissions.

“The Waxman-Markey legislation jeopardizes the domestic fertilizer industry that is such a vital link in food production, food security and the U.S. economy. We believe that it is important for Congress to implement a climate change policy that preserves our ability to compete in a global marketplace while reducing GHG emissions to protect the environment.”

The response from the American Farmland Trust was energized with their response, “It’s certainly historic in that hundreds of millions of acres of farm and ranchland will come under greater conservation and stewardship practices, and help our country address one of the most critical environmental challenges of our time.

“By taking this step forward in addressing climate change with agriculture’s participation, we will be able to recognize real conservation gains, new farm income and a new era of American farm ingenuity.”

Nonetheless, it is imperative that we do our part to become better informed citizens as we continue through the 21st Century. And Sugar Producer will be here to help keep you informed.

ADDITIONAL READING

To read more about the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) or the energy and climate change bill as it is being referred to, and to learn about groups who have issued their own statements regarding the passed legislation, visit our website at www.sugarproducer.com and go to The Beet Box.