It was back in 1973 when the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) created National Ag Day to increase the public’s awareness of the vital role of the farmer. With various conflicts happening worldwide, food security becomes more critical and unquestionably more apparent every day. Below are some of the amazing improvements we’ve experienced since the creation of the day.
Massive Jump in Bushels Per Acre – Since the first National Ag Day in 1973, corn yields in the U.S. have almost doubled from 91.3 bpa to this year’s forecasted 181.5 bpa. Soybeans nearly doubled from 27.8 bpa to a predicted 52 bpa this year.
Agricultural Pricing – In the ’70s and ’80s, prices for ag commodities were generally low due to oversupply, subsidies, and lack of demand. In the 2000s, we saw prices begin to rise for many commodities. This was due to a growing demand for U.S. ag products in other countries and biofuels. There have been a few spikes here and there, but overall, the food prices in the United States have been stable and affordable for most Americans.
Top Crops – In 1970, the leading crops grown in the U.S. were 1. Corn 2. Soybeans, and 3. Wheat. Today one and two remain the same, but hay is now number 3.
Significant Advances in Technology – Today, data-driven irrigation allows farmers to manage their fields more precisely to optimize yields while reducing waste and environmental impact. We have self-driving tractors that perform tasks more efficiently and safely than human operators. No-till ad reduced tillage is new to the ag game, improving soil health while reducing labor and fuel costs. These are just a few of the standouts.
Women Make Up 30% of the Total Number of Farm Operators – In addition, 20% of all farmers are now considered early-stage farmers (in business less than ten years). This is excellent news because only 2% of the population produces food for the world. In 1973 this number was closer to 5%, and 200 years ago, it was 90%.
Farmers Are Feeding The World – Every American farmer is responsible for feeding at least 165 people yearly, compared to 1940 when this number was 19. At JAIN, we’d like to thank all the farmers and ranchers for their outstanding work all year. Our highly developed food supply chain allows food to be produced, distributed, and sold efficiently and at a fair price.