Category: Farm Research

The Importance of the Farmer and Agriculture to the U.S. Economy

When economist want to “take the temperature” of the economy, two of the most important factors tend to be Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment. How much is the country producing and are the people working? When considering agriculture you can apply a similar line of thinking: For example how much is agriculture and related industries contributing to U.S. gross domestic product? and how many jobs does agriculture and related industries provide to the U.S. economy? The latest data from the USDA, Economic Research Service gives us an insight into these questions and the overall importance of agriculture to the nation’s economic well-being. In 2015, agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $992 billion to the U.S. GDP. This comes out to about 5.5% share of the total GDP. When looking at the production of just American farms, they contributed $136.7 billion of this sum — or about 1% of GDP. The overall contribution of the agriculture sector to GDP is larger than this because related sectors rely on agricultural inputs like food and materials used in textile production in order to contribute added value to the economy. Interestingly, but not surprising, farming’s contribution to GDP in 2015 fell for the second consecutive year after reaching a high point of $189.9 billion in 2013. A major reason for this downward trend has been falling commodity prices like corn and soy, which peaked around 2013 and have since fallen by around -30%. As for the contribution agriculture makes to national employment, in 2015 there were 21 million full and part-time jobs related to the agricultural and food sectors — or just over 11% of total U.S. employment. Direct on-farm employment accounted for about 2.6 million of these jobs, or about 1.5% of total U.S. employment. The agricultural sector makes an important contribution to the U.S. economy, I actually thought the numbers would have been higher. Regardless, it’s still obvious that success in agriculture equals success for the overall U.S. economy. Interesting numbers…(Source: USDA, ERS – Ag Food and Statistics)

This is just a small excerpt of the full Van Trump Report that I send out every day. To find out what you’re missing, sign up for a FREE 30-day trial.

FarmLogs Launches First Nationwide Research Network

This past week at Commodity Classic my friend Jesse Vollmar announced the rollout of FarmLogs Research Network, the first nationwide large-scale, on-farm research network of its kind. Dedicated to organizing and conducting unbiased research and independent analysis, the collaborative program, open to row-crop farmers across the country, will accelerate agronomic learning cycles, help influence product development and improve prescriptive recommendations for users. Utilizing technology to automatically capture and analyze on-farm trial data from different geographic environments in near real-time, the network will empower users to easily experiment and discover scientifically valid management practices. It will also enable farmers and businesses to more quickly and accurately prove how specific input decisions, management practices and new products and technologies impact their bottom line. FarmLogs will develop and set up trial protocols, aggregate and analyze the data, and offer support to growers along the way. “This is an entirely new approach to on-farm research,” said Dr. Tracy Blackmer, VP of Science at FarmLogs. “We’re not only crossing state lines with our large-scale unprecedented replications, but we’re also addressing several barriers that traditional research networks have been unable to break through. With our focus on independence, and with no geographic, vendor, product or technological limitations, we’re able to offer a more authentic and accurate way to analyze trial data. The rate at which growers will be able to test, learn from and implement new management practices will be monumental.” FarmLogs invites those in the ag space who are interested in learning from and participating in the research trials to visit the FarmLogs site by clicking HERE. What I really like about the concept is that it can help speed up “best-of-practice” results for NEW things I want to try on the farm. It can provide me with access to what others have found to be the results of their efforts and hurdles that I need to be aware of so as not to make the same mistakes. Essentially the network will empower growers to easily experiment and discover scientifically valid management practices. It will also enable farmers to quickly and accurately prove how specific input decisions, management practices, and new products and technologies impact their bottom line. I just really like the thought of building a nationwide library or database and having access to the details and results being recorded out in the fields. Technology and perhaps more importantly “transparency” continues to change the face of agriculture.

This is just a small excerpt of the full Van Trump Report that I send out every day. To find out what you’re missing, sign up for a FREE 30-day trial.

© 2017

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.