To keep up with demand, experts predict we will need 300 million acres of additional farmland brought into crop production by 2030.
That’s roughly equal to the current cropland area of the United States and China combined.
At Monsanto we’ve pledged to conserve resources through developing seeds that use one-third fewer key resources per unit of output to grow crops while working to lessen habitat loss and improve water quality. It’s all about keeping up with demand responsibly.
How do you reduce the nutrients, water, and energy need to grow crops today?
It all comes down to using our resources more efficiently by developing plants that maximize the use of their inputs and by using agronomic practices to use the right amount of resources in the right spot and at just the right time. We’re doing this by focusing on water-use efficiency, nitrogen use, and maintaining soil health.
Working with water
Water is the single most limiting factor for crop production. Water use and availability will be one of the most important resource constraints farmers face as they work to meet unprecedented demand for agricultural products in the next 40 years.
Our products help farmers maintain the integrity and productivity of their soil by enabling conservation tillage. Conservation tillage, leaving the previous year’s plant residue in the field, helps reduce soil erosion and improves water retention in the soil. We’re also working on products that can withstand drought conditions and we’ve built the Water Utilization Learning Center at Gothenburg, NE, to help farmers understand how to more efficiently use water in their operations.
Maintaining soil health
Every field has unique soil characteristics. We are developing a system to provide farmers with science-based information on seed selection, planting densities and nutrient application for their specific field requirements. Using field-specific soil models, we will offer information that can assist farmers in selecting the best product mix and the best management practices for their field. More precise input applications can help farmers conserve more of the resources that are essential to their success.
Using nitrogen more efficiently
At Monsanto we are working on developing seed products that improve crop yields under normal nitrogen conditions and stabilize yields under low-nitrogen conditions. We’re hoping to help increase efficiency of nitrogen-based fertilizers so that more is used by the crop and less is left in the soil to form greenhouse gases or runoff into waterways.