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Population versus food production.
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Author:  Dingo [ Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Population versus food production.

The miracle of greater and more efficient food production has managed roughly to keep up with the increased population, which of course includes the ever present billion or so who go to bed hungry. The indications are that food production efficiency, particularly grain, may be approaching a limit. Global warming doesn't help nor does diversion to ethanol and eating higher on the food chain. Lester Brown doesn't talk about it here, but in other articles he also discusses the limiting factor of fast depleting fresh water supplies.

http://www.earth-policy.org/press_room/ ... fact_sheet

Global grain consumption has exceeded production in 8 of the last 14 years, leading to a drawdown in reserves.

Population growth is the oldest source of increasing grain demand. In recent years, the annual growth in grain use has doubled, largely a result of increased use for fuel ethanol and livestock and poultry feed.

In 2013, the United States harvested more than 400 million tons of grain. Of this, 129 million tons (30 percent) went to ethanol distilleries.

Rising yields are the key to expanding the grain harvest as there is little unused cropland. Since 1950, over 93 percent of world grain harvest growth has come from raising yields.

The global grain area planted per person has shrunk from about half an acre (0.2 hectares) in 1950 to a quarter acre (0.1 hectares) in 2013.

At 10 tons per hectare, U.S. corn yields are the highest of any major grain anywhere. In Iowa, some counties harvest up to 13 tons per hectare.

Global average grain yields more than tripled from 1.1 tons per hectare in 1950 to 3.5 tons per hectare in 2013. However, yield growth has slowed from 2.2 percent a year between 1950 and 1990 to 1.4 percent in the years since.

In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, wheat yields have been flat for more than a decade. The story is similar for rice in Japan and South Korea.

World fertilizer use climbed from 14 million tons in 1950 to 181 million tons in 2013. But in many countries, fertilizer use has reached diminishing returns.

Since 2007, the world has experienced three major grain price spikes. The U.N. Food Price Index indicates that grain in 2014 was twice as expensive as in 2002–04.

Rising global temperatures threaten the world’s major food crops; the “rule of thumb” is that each 1-degree-Celsius rise in temperature (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above the growing season optimum can cut productivity by at least 10 percent.

No country is presently driving the world toward greater and greater food scarcity than China. They need food supplies, and that also means water, desperately from wherever they can get it. From the US that means lots of pork among other foods. And with a whole load of other food importers the consequence is apparently going to mean skyrocketing food prices.

http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_upda ... /update121

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Population versus food production.

In my extensive research I could see that food production total really peaked around 2000. A very rounded peak, but decreasing faster and faster as the effects of water scarcity, a myriad forms of soil loss, more expensive fuel and transport, fisheries collapse, pollution effects, and AGW.
People talk about increasing food supply by less waste, drip irrigation, exotic seeds, going vegetarian, and even eating algae and organic plastic, ad nauseum. It is bad enough they stretch it now with chemical additives labeled sometimes, "natural". American food habits are very bad, from Monsanto to the obese consumer. Sure, people eat too much meat often, and on average, don't bother reading labels.
So with the 35 to 50% loss of food from 1993 level calories per person per day, the crash will occur in the early 2040s. The tipping point of runaway malevolent climate change will have passed, so the forced emissions reduction by 90% death rate then will do no good. The survivors will not make it very long. :-({|= :-({|= :-({|= :-({|= :-({|= :-({|= :-({|= :-({|= :-({|=

Author:  herlbert [ Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Population versus food production.

Honestly, that is the sad reality that we are facing now. Our population are increasing while food production is decreasing. Consequently, most countries particularly from Africa and Asia were experiencing food crisis now.

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