Last week I spent some time on an upcoming presentation I’m doing in Germany next month on how do we produce the pig of the future. For 45 minutes I get to use my crystal ball and think about the challenges and opportunities the global pork production community has in front of it.
As we face the challenges of meeting a growing world populations food demands, all of agriculture will have to become better. The biggest challenge here is how to educate the non-agricultural consumer about the technology advances we need to apply to our production realm, whether it is GMO grain production, confinement livestock production, recombinant DNA vaccines or who knows what. We no longer have the option of meeting the world’s nutritional needs by organic production methods only or with technology from the 1950’s.
In the US the application of advances in production technology has meant that from 1959 to 2009 the amount of water used per pound of carcass weight has been reduced 41 percent, the amount of land necessary to grow the feed grains has been reduced 78 percent and the carbon footprint associated with this overall production has been reduced 35 percent. It is reasonable to expect future gains to be even larger.