The United States is the undisputed world leader in agricultural production, but still faces challenges that could be overcome with renewed commitment to research, innovation, and technology development in agriculture. This is according to a recent agricultural report released by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
The PCAST report highlights several challenges the agriculture industry will likely face in the coming years, including: managing new pests, pathogens, and invasive plants; increasing the efficiency of water use; reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture; growing food in a changing climate; managing the production of bioenergy; producing safe and nutritious food; and assisting with the global food security and maintaining abundant yields.
According to the PCAST report, “A new agricultural research enterprise should be centered on competitive intramural and extramural research efforts that bring together scientists from traditional agricultural fields and those from the biological and physical sciences. A focused public investment would not only invigorate agricultural research and create opportunities for new business ventures funded by the private sector, but also provide the means to train the next generation of farmers and agricultural researchers to meet the workforce demands of U.S. agriculture in the 21st century.” This includes a PCAST recommendation of increasing investment in agricultural research by a total of $700 million per year in the future.
The United States plans to remain the worldwide leader in agriculture productionwith a focus on several emerging challenges, as stated in the report. A significant increase in funding for the agriculture industry will likely be evident in the coming years, allowing additional research, innovation, and technology development to overcome the imminent challenges.
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