Crops for the Future
When it comes to cropping systems, the challenge is “abundantly” clear. The expectations and demands on agricultural crops continue to escalate. The world needs more food to feed a growing population – and more renewable biofuels to reduce reliance on expensive, depleting sources of petroleum. Planted acres/hectares are trending downward, and historical rates of increase in crop productivity would be insufficient to meet the anticipated requirements. Increased public and private research investments will be needed to achieve the necessary productivity gains.
There is no doubt: We must accelerate our ability to grow more with less. Less water. Less land. Less environmental impact. And we must get even more from what we grow. More food. More fuel. More value.
In Nebraska, agriculture is economic development. And our strength as a state depends on recognizing that fact – and doing everything possible to achieve our potential. That’s the focus of IANR, especially in the area of cropping systems and new crop development. IANR will use its resources to create an even stronger, more sustainable agriculture sector – and continue to integrate improved agricultural production and high-tech genetics with manufacturing, energy, food processing and food safety, nutritional science, and environmental stewardship. As the world evolves from a carbon-based industrial society to one based on carbohydrates, Nebraska’s ability to produce abundant grains, crops and grasses can be the gateway to claiming a leadership position at the vanguard of the new bioeconomy.