Agricultural Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

The Precision Agriculture Revolution

Author: Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer

housands of years ago, agriculture began as a highly site-specific activity. The first farmers were gardeners who nurtured individual plants, and they sought out the microclimates and patches of soil that favored those plants. But as farmers acquired scientific knowledge and mechanical expertise, they enlarged their plots, using standardized approaches—plowing the soil, spreading animal manure as fertilizer, rotating the crops from year to year—to boost crop yields.

See more in Global; Agricultural Policy

Ask CFR Experts

Should we be worried about China's genetic manipulation of food?

Asked by Matthias Tindemans

In 2012, China imported nearly 60 million tons of soybeans, most of which were genetically modified. In that sense, even if GM foods are found to have any long-term hazards, one probably should not worry too much about only China's GM foods, but about those from all countries, including the United States, the largest producer and consumer of GM foods.

Read full answer

See more in China; Agricultural Policy

Audio

Agricultural Technology and Productivity Continue to Make Gains and Ensure U.S. Food Security

Speaker: Tom Vilsack
Presider: Roger C. Altman

With the 2014 farm bill now enacted into law, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack visits CFR to discuss the USDA's policy priorities with Roger Altman of Evercore Partners. Vilsack credits advanced agricultural technology and the productivity of American farmers with maintaining the country's status as a food-secure nation, despite a growing population and a shrinking agricultural sector.

See more in United States; Agricultural Policy

Event

Agricultural Technology and Productivity Continue to Make Gains and Ensure U.S. Food Security

Speaker: Tom Vilsack
Presider: Roger Altman

With the 2014 farm bill now enacted into law, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visits CFR to discuss the USDA's policy priorities with Roger C. Altman of Evercore Partners. Vilsack credits advanced agricultural technology and the productivity of American farmers with maintaining the country's status as a food-secure nation, despite a growing population and a shrinking agricultural sector.

See more in United States; Agricultural Policy