Peak Farmland

December 22, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

peak farm

It’s a surprise our civilization has survived as long as it has; if peak oil isn’t going to end it, then peak copper, phosphorus, gas, water, and coal could. The latest peak that society may be facing is something to rejoice over writes Alister Doyle:

  • Due to declining population growth and rising farm yields, the amount of land needed for agriculture will decrease substantially by 2060 according to one study.
  • The amount of land that will no longer be needed for farmland is projected to be more than twice the size of France
  • Others disagree. Most notably the UN predicts that the need for farmland will increase due to rising demand.
  • How meat consumption rises might ultimately determine which study is right. The production of meat requires a lot of farmland, and if the developing world starts to consume meat at developed world levels, then peak farmland might be a myth. Luckily the evidence so far suggests that this won’t happen.
  • The demand for biofuels such as ethanol is another wildcard that will affect how our demand for farmland changes.

Read more about how this land can then be returned to nature, why the UN disagrees with peak farmland, the assumptions that the studies use and more over here.

Source: Reuters

Via: Freakonomics