Global double cropping could handicap American farmers

An ag economist says cropland expansion in other countries could put U.S. farmers at a disadvantage.

Ohio State University professor emeritus Carl Zulauf tells Brownfield about 400 million acres of farmland have been added to worldwide crop production since 2000.

“Particularly, the land has increased in South America, but sub-Saharan Africa has been the other major expansion area, and India,” he says.

Zulauf says deforestation, cropland returning to production, and double cropping have led to the increases in other countries.

“The lack of the ability of the U.S. to have major double cropping, the fact that we have had no major increase in land in this country since 1980, really suggest that we have some strategic questions.”

He says those ‘questions’ need to include how agricultural genetic research and production technology could evolve to keep U.S. farmers competitive.

Zulauf says Europe and the U.S. have been the only countries to reduce cropland acres over the same period with the U.S. losing four million acres.

Brazil accounts for around a quarter of new cropland expansion and nearly half of expansion across the tropics. China added the most acres among non-tropical countries, but Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan collectively added more.

AUDIO: Carl Zulauf, Ohio State University

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News