How often do you think about the global population? There are more than 7 billion people living on our planet, and that number will continue to climb. The earth could hold more than 8 to 11 billion people in less than 30 years, by 2050.
If you’re a farmer, however, you’re probably already aware of the growing need to produce food. The question then becomes, how do you do so? How can farmers increase the world’s food supply in a way that feeds people and protects the planet?
Fortunately, there are myriad measures farmers can implement to help increase their yields in a sustainable way. Conventional farming methods involve the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which can improve crop yields. Done for long periods, however, conventional methods might hurt the overall health of the soil and encourage the growth of pesticide-resistant weeds.
Another approach is to grow a larger mix of crops, instead of planting the same crops year after year. This tactic can increase overall production. Utilizing perennial plants, instead of annual crops, saves on planting costs. Since perennial plants are hardier, they are more likely to survive weather extremes. They might also use less water and help reduce soil erosion better than annual plants.
Vertical farming — or using indoor space to grow crops — is another way to produce more food, more efficiently. The accompanying resource describes the benefits of vertical farming and how to make the process more effective.