Too hot, too dry, too wet, too cool; this growing season has had it all. As expected, drought and weather-related problems were top-of-mind for growers surveyed at Bayer CropScience's One World to Grow On exhibit during the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa last week.
In fact, 73% of respondents to Bayer CropScience's daily survey noted climate and weather problems as the biggest challenge experienced on their farm this year.
Weed resistance ranked second in terms of challenges this year, with 18% of growers reporting this to be of significant concern on their farms.
Disease prevention (4%), finances (3%) and people resources (2%) rounded out the biggest challenges survey participants faced this year.
Growers don't seem to expect this season's weather issues to fade either, with 26% of farmers surveyed saying that climate change is the biggest challenge to the future of farming.
Population growth and food supply were also cited as leading concerns, with 37% of growers surveyed ranking them as the biggest challenges facing farming's future. A talent gap (16%), energy and renewable fuels (11%), and consumers' negative perception of the technology needed to feed a hungry world (11%) were also cited as major future challenges by growers.
Finally, growers were also surveyed on what one thing they wished young people or non-ag people knew about the business of farming:
- 36% said, "Farming isn't easy or lucrative; it's about love for the land, animals and family legacy."
- 28% said, "A lot goes into maintaining a successful farm—management, distribution, processing, accounting, construction, marketing and hard work."
- 16% said, "Modern agriculture has changed considerably in the past 50 years due to technology and population growth."
- 11% said, "Just because produce isn't at a farmers market doesn't mean it didn't come from a family farm (98% of all farms are family owned)."
- 9% said, "Farmers receive training to use chemicals safely and responsibly to grow food safely."