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Food, fuel, and fiber, the three "F's" of agriculture, are critically important to people around the world in a multitude of ways that may not have been as evident in recent memory. A cascading series of events prior to the Ukrainian conflict has accelerated into real concerns around the world for food, fuel, and fiber supplies.
The most critical role for world agriculture, especially at this moment, is to be able to supply enough crop and livestock production to feed people around the globe. Increasing demand, coupled with variable weather and production, topped off by post-Covid-19 supply chain issues, has already started to put some stress on food availability. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has now thrown grain and food trade into a worldwide scramble with millions more people expected to go hungry in the near term. Add in multiple areas around the globe that are either too dry or too wet for top production, and you have even more cause for concern for our food supplies.
Fuel to drive transportation, heat our homes, and propel business has also become even more critical today due to the war situation. Agriculture is now an important supplier of energy with fuels for transportation. Ethanol from corn and a few other grains supplies 10% of our nation's gasoline needs and the production of biofuels made from soybeans is increasing. Biofuels add to our fuel supplies at a time of high oil prices and clean-burning concerns.
Fiber is the last "F" provided by agriculture that is important today. From plants like cotton that are made into fabrics and textiles, to livestock that produces wool for clothing to forages that feed livestock, and some that are used in biofuel production, fiber produced from the land by agricultural practices is facing challenges too from droughts and production issues.
The critical importance of agriculture in producing food, fuel, and fiber, the three "F's", are being recognized around the world by everyone from individuals to governments. The issues driving the current realization will not go away anytime soon. This critical need for agricultural production over the next few years is helping drive profitability in many ag sectors and is also propelling the price of good cropland upward.
Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations
|Category: Agricultural Real Estate News|