In 1960, the average US farmer fed just 26 people. Today, that farmer feeds 155 people, growing more on every acre every year.
And that’s not all — America’s farmers produce feed for cows and pigs and chickens… and grow enough to fuel our cars and trucks with cleaner, renewable fuels. That’s more than 13 billion gallons of renewable fuel powering our cars and 34 million tons of animal feed in 2012 alone.
How do they do it? Through innovation and technology, farmers are growing more crops on the same land, more sustainably. From soybeans to corn to wheat, yields are up by as much as 64% since 1980, and they continue to rise. Water use? Down by up to 75%. Soil erosion? Down between 30% and 60%. Energy use to grow crops? It’s been cut by half.
And now, farmers are diversifying by using land not suitable for crops to grow more feedstocks (non-edible plants like switchgrass that can be made into advanced renewable fuel). More food, more feed and more fuel, more efficiently. And we’re just getting started.