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Anorak | We’ve reached peak farmland! Millions of humans will die (maybe)

We’ve reached peak farmland! Millions of humans will die (maybe)

by | 30th, May 2013

EEK! We’ve reached peak farmland: we’ll not expand the fields ever again. That, of course, spells doom for all of us human beans, as there will be ever less food for ever more people. Woe is us.

Except that’s not actually what is being predicted. Rather, that because we’re using farmland ever more efficiently we’ll never need to plough up more forest to make fields :

American corn farmers currently average about 180 bushels per acre, and the world average is around 82. Ausubel and his colleagues assume a modest 1.7 percent annual increase in corn yields between 2010 and 2060, which implies that “the average global yield in 2060 would resemble the average U.S. yield in 2010.”

One concern is that farmers may be approaching the biological limits of photosynthesis, which would constrain crop yields. But the authors note that the winners of the annual

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Posted: 30th, May 2013 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink