Research is the future of agriculture, and the road in which North Carolina agriculture is going to get bigger and more profitable.
Today, democratic opponent for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Walter Smith discusses keeping research dollars moving, as well as creating value-added crops, and crop diversification:
“Research is the backbone of any agriculture. It’s important to North Carolina in many different ways. For traditional farms, we are going to have to provide food and fiber for the world. It’s been estimated that between the years 2000 and 2045 there will be a 50% increase in world population. We have to feed those on the same crop land we have now. The only way to do it is through research and technology. We need to increase crop yields through new production methods, become more efficient in our fertilizer use and develop new seed varieties that are more resistant to drought, pest and disease. By doing this we can greatly increase our yields.
On the non-traditional and small farms, research is also very important. We need to develop more specialty crops. We need do more research in organic farming, wind farming, and solar farming. All of these are important and make small farms profitable.
Ag research is the backbone and will drive agriculture in the years to come.
Extension services also assist with the ag research, though some of the field applications. After the research is done and the data is assembled, it’s the job of the extension service to educate the public on the practical applications on the results of the research.”
Tomorrow, we’ll hear from incumbent Steve Troxler on research and the future of agriculture. For more comments from the candidates for North Carolina Ag Commissioner click here.