Future of Agriculture

What does the future hold for agriculture in Iowa?

Personal Life

I come from a family that farms, and our family has gone through many generations of farming. There are things that I am familiar with regarding agriculture, and there are multiple things I don't know as well. Throughout the years there have been many technologies and new ideas discovered, and agriculture continues to change.

Aspects That Affect the Future of Agriculture

  • Increase/Decrease of farm ground in Iowa

  • Population increase in bigger cities

  • Patterns in climate

  • Corn and soybean prices

  • Technology advancements

Corn and Soybean Prices

  • Corn and soybean prices are determined by markets across the U.S., and how much of a supply of the grain there is across the country.
  • If the supply goes down because of a drought or bad crop that year, the price will go up.
  • If there is more than enough of the grain, like with corn right now, then the price will go down because of that high supply.


  • Input costs are high, such as fertilizer prices, seed prices, chemicals, insurance, etc. Renting farm ground is also very costly.
  • Right now corn and soybean prices are starting to decrease, and the input costs are still really high. There is a very high supply of corn currently, so the price isn’t as high.
  • That makes it very difficult to decide when to sell your corn. This can make it very tough on farmers that rent land or farmers that don’t own as much land.
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Climate In Iowa

The weather in Iowa is constantly changing, and you can’t predict exactly what it will do. The most rainfall occurs in the spring and summer months, and that is when the crops are growing. Too much or not enough rain can hurt the crops for that year. It is difficult to look into the future to see exactly what the weather will be like. The crop for a certain year just depends what the weather is like for that year.

Technology Advancements

GPS Systems.

  • The GPS systems allow farmers to plant or fertilize their fields without manually driving the tractor.
  • You can program the GPS to the layout of your field so that the GPS recognizes your field. You have to line up the tractor with the lines on the GPS, turn it on, and you are ready to go. You are able to turn it off and on at the end of a row so you are able to turn around.
  • This takes a lot of the stress of off farmers that would normally have to manually drive their tractors. It also decreases gaps and overlaps that can affect the yield potential while planting your crops.

Population Increase and How it Affects Amount of Farm ground

  • The population in bigger cities is increasing.

  • The farms around the bigger cities are decreasing.

  • The farm ground in the middle of nowhere or the ground around smaller cities isn’t threatened.

  • With how much the population is growing farming is going to continue to be more important.

In Conclusion

It is very expensive to get into farming right now because farm ground costs a lot and input costs are very high. It is much more challenging to buy or rent farm ground. With the price of corn and soybeans dropping it makes it difficult to make as much money off of your crops as you would in the past.

Sources

"Guidance and Steering." Ag Leader. Ag Leader, 2016. Web. 7 Jan. 2016. <http://www.agleader.com/products/guidance-steering/>.


"Marketing and Outlook." Farmdoc. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2016. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <http://www.farmdoc.illinois.edu/manage/uspricehistory/us_price_history.html>


Curtis, Pat. "Scientists Say Climate Change Is Challenging Iowa Agriculture." Radioiowa. 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 2016. <http://www.radioiowa.com/2013/10/18/scientists-say-climate-change-is-challenging-iowa-agriculture/>.