It Pays to Keep Lofty Growth Expectations for Your Farm
How hard is it to grow something? I guess it depends on what it is. For farmers, growing crops might not necessarily be the most difficult part of the job. There are plenty of other operation management-related elements to contend with.
Fortunately, advances in science and technology have afforded the ability to solve problems and produce higher-yielding, better-tasting, machine-harvestable, and even disease-resistant crops — to name a few. But yeoman’s work continues by industry stakeholders to raise the bar as new challenges emerge and old ones evolve.
How high has the bar been raised? Recently, America’s space exploration counterparts in China broke higher ground (literally) in crop production research. They actually grew cotton plants on the dark side of the moon. Wait! What? Inside a mini biosphere dispatched to Earth’s natural satellite, a batch of seedlings germinated, despite the long journey and harsh elements encountered along the way. They were the first plants ever to grow on the moon’s surface. Of course, not very long after they sprouted, Lunar Nature eclipsed the high-flying cotton transplants with drastic temperature swings, ultimately freezing them into oblivion. I don’t know of anything that’s cold hardy to -300°F. But hey, what a ride.
Though China’s interstellar, protected agriculture experiment ultimately failed (this time), that kind of outside-the-box thinking is becoming less far-fetched. Sure, it lends itself to sci-fi inspired mainstream media headlines, but also (eventually) leads to viable, down-to-earth solutions for the major hurdles facing farmers now and in the foreseeable future: labor, pests, water, weather, urban encroachment, etc.
The term “modern agriculture” is relative. Growth blooms from necessity. The need for food and clothing is constant. Onward and upward.