Today’s farmers use science to enhance their business
(NC)—When most people think of farming, they don’t think high-tech, but that’s a mistake.
“Farming is a very modern business,” says Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada, the trade association representing Canada’s plant science industry. “It has been for decades, but for some reason the image still persists of the farmer in his overalls chewing on a piece of straw.”
Agriculture really moved into the modern era starting in the mid-1940s when science and technological advancements helped to more than double major crops yields
in developing countries. These advancements have been credited with saving the lives of more than a billion people.
Since then, agriculture has continued to thrive as a result of on-going investments in research and development.
According to a recent study, Canadian farmers realize an additional economic benefit of about $8 billion a year as a result of using pest control products and plant biotechnology to increase crop yields and quality.
Those same increases have positive impacts on other sectors of the economy as well, adding an additional $6.4 billion in economic activity for sectors such as processing, shipping and manufacturing as well as 97,000 full-time spin-off jobs.
“Science and technology really are integral to agriculture these days,” says Hepworth.