On the Vulgamore farm near Scott City, Kan., each combine can harvest up to 25 acres of wheat an hour—as well as real-time data on crop yields. Most of the food Americans eat is now produced on such large-scale, mechanized farms, which grow row after row of a single crop, allowing farmers to cover more ground with less labor.
With the world’s population exploding, we’ll have many more mouths to feed in the near future. But agriculture already uses up tons of resources and land. So how can we grow more food and how can we limit its damage to the environment?
This feedlot in Ordway, Colo. wouldn't be covered under new rules from the FDA meant to limit risk of a terror attack on the food industry. But the rules could spur the agriculture industry to consider their vulnerabilities to attack.
Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media
In the wake of Sept. 11, the U.S. government spent years, and billions of dollars, fortifying various industries against possible terrorist attacks. Now, government regulators are turning their attention to our food supply.
These days you can fly to far corners of the world and eat pretty much the same food you can get back home. There's pizza in China and sushi in Ethiopia.
A new scientific study shows that something similar is true of the crops that farmers grow. Increasingly, there's a standard global diet, and the human race is depending more and more on a handful of major crops for much of its food.