For the last 50 years, world population has multiplied more rapidly than ever before.
In 1950, the world had 2.5 billion people; and in 2005, the world had 6.5 billion people.
By 2050, this number could be more than 9 billion. This impacts the agriculture industry all over Texas, the United States, and globally!!The number and nature of farms has changed over time. The number of farms in Texas has decreased from 420,000 in 1940 to 241,500 in 2016, with an average size of 537 acres. The number of small farms is increasing but many are operated by part-time farmers and ranchers. Machinery is replacing manpower.
Although machinery price tags are high, they are much more advanced and efficient. Revolutionary agricultural chemicals have appeared along with improving plants and animals. Many of the natural hazards of farming and ranching have been reduced by better use of weather information, machinery, and other improvements; but rising costs, labor availability, and high energy costs have added to the concerns of farmers and ranchers in Texas and the US.Back in the American “olden days” the farmers and ranchers did everything by hand and worked very hard for their crops and animals. But then inventions like the cotton gin, the reaper, the gas tractor and many more made it much more efficient. These are what I consider to be the most significant agricultural impact during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Some farm machinery advances can be attributed to an individual, but most were the product of many curious and ingenious people who made tremendous improvements to the work of their fellow agriculturists. These inventions lessened job opportunity and farmers needed less and less help with planting and harvesting their crops.
Over 200 years ago, 90 percent of the U.S. population lived on farms and produced their own food to eat.
But today, only two percent of the population produces food for the world to consume. That’s a large change in the amount of people associated with producing food and making sure that everyone has enough to eat. With the number of people we have on the planet now it would be nearly impossible for everyone to produce their own food! Crops native to North America included the food staples corn, beans, and squash, and such diverse vegetables as tomatoes, “Irish” potatoes, chili peppers, yams, peanuts, and pumpkins. Spanish colonists introduced wheat, oats, barley, onions, peas, watermelons, and domestic animals, including cattle, horses, and hogs.
But prior to the the Europeans arrival, advanced agriculture existed among the Caddo Indians in the east and in the pueblo cultures concentrated in New Mexico. The Caddos lived in permanent villages and depended for food primarily on the cultivation of corn, beans, and squash, with hunting and gathering to supplement the crops. They prepared fields for planting by burning and girdling, and cultivated with wooden hoes, stones, and sharpened sticks. Many Europeans and foreigners to the US did contribute to the agricultural world but most of what we eat today like sweet potatoes, peanuts, and cucumbers originated from places like africa.
The wonderful industry of agriculture has changed tremendously in the past 100 years and it will only continue to grow. And maybe thats not such a bad thing. As long as we dont move backwards and we continue to prosper, we will be on the road to success!