Economist Mike Walden: Farms with Fewer Workers

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at farms with fewer workers.   Mike, many people don’t realize that farming is an industry that has been remade many times.  Some say a new phase of this reinvention is under way, with new kinds of machinery and technology coming to the farm. Give us some examples.

  1. Driven by two things – the tech revolution, and the slowing labor supply for farming – aging, less immigration, other opportunities
  2. Seeing many examples of technology replacing labor on the farm
  3. Harvesting, packaging, seeding – new machines that do all this better
  4. Also, better instruments to measure moisture and locate pests
  5. Next frontier – machines that can determine best time to harvest – that is still largely a task done by humans
  6. Just like in many aspects of the economy, it’s another world in farming

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.