On Wednesday at the Kickoff Breakfast for the 37th Southern Farm Show, Dr. Joe Zublena, Associate Dean & Director of NC Cooperative Extension was the keynote speaker. Zublena says that agriculture is one of the few industries that continues to do more with less:
“Its one of the few industries that you have seen such a high degree of improvement over the years. A lot of it is due to the research and technology transfer of that information to our farmers.
One of the things I showed in the presentation today, was projections that the world’s population by 2050 will hit 9 billion people. With that growth, we will have to increase food production by 70%. That increase has to come through research. Our traditional methods take too long. We will still be using those, but we will need some breakthroughs that will accelerate the process.
Double-cropping is always a challenge and we are looking for new crops. One that we are looking at that may have potential is grain sorghum, it has been known to be double cropped but it does come with some challenges. So as research comes out and that information is transferred through extension, it will be critical for the farmers to have that so they don’t try something and suffer an economic loss.
I think the big change in food production will be at the molecular level. This is where the fundamental research in colleges like ours at NC State will be looking at the molecular make up of plants, the pathways of how plants use different chemicals and see if there are ways to tweek those to come out with the changes we need.
I would ask everyone in agriculture to speak up because we are challenged being such a small group of people.”
For more of our coverage from the 37th Southern Farm Show, click here
Associate Dean & Director of NC Cooperative Extension, Dr. Joe Zublena.