Hello everyone and welcome to our course. This is week one and the very first lecture. We're at the beginning of an eight week time together. I hope you'll enjoy the material that we have to present to you and enjoy all of the other activities that we'll do in association with this course. If you haven't already done so, you might want to take a chance and take a look at the, The, the website for the course. That's where you'll find all the information that you'll need to participate in the course. I want to take a couple lectures in the very beginning here to bring us up to speed and sort of set the context for what we'll be taking a look at during the course. The saying goes something like this, farmers feed the world. Farmers do indeed feed the world. They produce enough food, for themselves and many, many more people, people that they don't even know. For example, the American farmer is said to produce enough food for his or her family and for at least 150 other people in the world. Here's a collage of farming practices from around the world. We'll take a look at some of these as we go through the course. So, this course is about sustainable food production. Providing food for a growing population, and also, doing so, with an intention to keep farmers profitable because most people, I think, agree that, that is a good, good use for the land as opposed to other, potential uses. And also, we want to help farmers produce our food with attention to, the environment. So, how can farmers do this? I want to talk a little bit about some general overview, aspects about, farming and about agriculture. So, for example, how can this a tomato farmer in Florida using plastic mulch and drip irrigation. How can this farmer produce more tomatoes per acre of land, with half the water and fertilizer inputs? That this same farmer would have used 10 or 15 years ago. Before switching over to these intensive, production systems. Also, we're going to take a look in the course at bigger picture soil conservation practices. I've showed you a couple, pictures here of watersheds. One of which, has identified many of the kinds of farming practices that we'll talk about, later on in this course. To protect the land, to keep the land on the farm. And minimize the chances that sediment and nutrients will end up in that water body. So how do we keep farmers, how do we get farmers to adopt and use these kinds of practices? Many already are but many are not. I think a lot of a course much of a course like this starts acknowledging that farmers have a terrific job ahead of them Many people in the world and many people to feed. This particular graphic startles me most any time I, I look at it but it illustrates the terrific increase in the world's population just in the last several hundred years, maybe five or 600 year. More people added to, the planet than probably all of the, the numbers, down through, through history. And you'll see the rapid increase. In the, growth of population. 1 of the things some of you might notice up here at the top. You might see a slight tipping of the, the growth rate. And that gives us some hope. That maybe population growth will, at least the rate of increase, will slow down. So the bad news is the population is growing. In fact we're predicted to reach 9 billion, some say 10 billion, people on this globe by the year 2050. Most of this growth, as this graphic depicts, is going to happen in less developed countries; that's where the increase is happening. Developed countries, the growth rate will not be as, as great. But there's good news and this graphic contains some good news. You'll see a terrific increase in the growth rate up until the 1960's, and now we seem to be on a decline the rate of growth the population, the rate at which we add people to the globe is declining. Yet there are many places in the world that do face food shortages. In fact, it's estimated that there are about a billion people that face food shortages. So that, that means about one out of seven or eight people are currently undernourished. Much of this much of the food shortages and the undernourishment is happening in the same areas of the world. Where rapid population growth is happening. So the world population is predicted to increase to 9 billion. Estimates also are that agriculture will have to increase food production to meet the demand by this increase in population, some say by as much as 70%. And we'll need to do this more and more sustainably. So we have a big job ahead of us and we'll need to try to help farmers do an even better and better job of producing food in a sustainable way than we've ever done before. Now my intent is not to make this course a debate on, issues such as Malthusian theory. But I do think it does serve to point out that there are many people in the world, maybe some of you that believe that population growth will continue to grow at such a rate that eventually we'll outstrip resources. And I have colleagues that are doubters and we argue strenuously fairly, fairly frequently about food production and about farming and about agricultural practices, and whether or not agriculture will be able to get to that level of sustainability where we're producing food and protecting the environment to the degree that many think, think we will. It's my hope that after we go through this course and we take a look at what farmers are already doing and what science has developed for farmers to implement on their farms and the work that is currently ongoing, I'm hoping that we'll all be at least a little bit more hopeful. Agriculture has advanced tremendously over the last 100 years. In fact it's been keeping up with food production at a very high rate. In fact, some, some scientists feel that agriculture already produces enough food to feed the world, but of course, we all know there are issues and problems with food availability, food, low food or agricultural production practices, preservation and transportation, and probably more that you can think of that hinder many people in this world from getting adequate food. But either way you come down on that, on that particular issue I think we all can agree that if we're going to get to a place where we have enough food and it's distributed and affordable. We're still going to have to employ sustainable production practices so that we produce that food that we need in the, in the world in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way. Over the years production practices on our farms have come a long, long way, especially in developed countries. Farming productivity has increased. So our goal in this course is to learn a little bit more about agriculture, our production practices, where we come so far, and where we need to go. To increase food production and make it more sustainable and increase the environmentally friendliness already we'll learn in this course already there are many, many things practices that farmers have adopted that have been developed for research and education but we still have a ways to go. So specifically we want to talk about how agriculture can get to this point, where we all consider it to be as sustainable as possible. So that soil isn't being lost from our farms through wind or water erosion. And nutrients are not being leached or lost to run-off into water bodies. And also food pro, is produced in the abundance that, that we need. If you look back through the years 100 years ago, and you come forward you can see the tremendous advances that have been made in agriculture productivity. Especially in technological advances. From soil tillage, starting out maybe a hundred years or so ago, at least in this country, to today, where we can till massive amounts of land and prepare fields for planting and cropping in very rapid succession. Harvesting techniques have grown to include very, very large, efficient machines to harvest large areas of produce. And, and, in this particular case, grains that will feed the world. We made advances in irrigation. We'll learn about ancient civilizations, farmers and ancient civilizations that learned how to get water out of a river and raise it up and put it in a canal to help irrigate their crops in between floods, flood seasons. And we've come a long way. Now we can pump large amounts of water from the aquifer, over from surface water to irrigate crops very efficiently, in very large areas with center pivots, and we've taken it a step further, particularly with our intensive fruits and vegetable crops by using drip irrigation, as I've depicted on the, on the lower, picture. So we've come a, a long way. Irrigation is a very important aspect to sustainable crop production, but we'll learn in this course how to manage irrigation efficiently so that we're not causing the leeching of nutrients. We're lot, not over irrigating that would lead to soil erosion. Some of these technologies now for example drip irrigation for probably 30 or 40 years has been promoted around the world. Some of these small farms that could not produce hardly enough food for their family, now with irrigation, with a system like drip irrigation can now produce more food. And so here's a high tech as it were, technology that was developed for, for food production in developed countries is now being adapted to food production all over the world. Making a big difference. And also fertilizer, pest management, new varieties of crop plants have all played a role, and many other things, technologies that you can probably think of. They all lead to an increase in crop productivity, which is very important. It helps farmers produce more on the same land by more intensifying, intensifying the, the production practices. But again, some argue that some of these technological advances have also, led to more risk for environmental problems, and we'll take a look at some of those potential, situations. But alon the way, as juman beings are. Want to do. We've learned a lot of lessons. For example, we've learned about how soil and soil management has played a role in sustainable crop production. The American Dust Bowl is an example that comes to my mind, quickly. This was a time during the 1920's and 30's, when farmers were farming vast areas of the center part of this country to grow wheat. And through there production practices their tillage, their widespread tillage. They did not understand that they were setting themselves up for serious problems when the climate, when the weather changed and a drought set in a decade long drought. Many of these farmers lost much of their, their soil, their livelihood was damaged. And it brought about major changes in this country. Still today, we have farms that continue to have issues with soil management. And we'll talk about some very simple, relatively inexepensive practices. That we can encourage farmers to adopt to help prevent situations like we have depicted in that picture. That time of the year in this country led to more emphasis from research universities, for land grant universities and also from the government to help farmers learn about soil conservation practices and yes, in fact Help them pay to adopt some of these best management practices. So today, if I look back over the years of agriculture, just going back 100 years and even in my lifetime, growing up on a farm and seeing the practices that our family used to grow vegetables and how those practices changed, even no till vegetable production. If I look back over that, I can see, you know, incredible changes in agriculture, where we've come from. We've gone from plowing and tilling land to no-till and we'll learn about No-till as depicted in this particular picture. A way to grow crops and, and conserve the soil. So this course is going to be about connecting agriculture with the environment. We're going to look at some principles about protecting soil and minimizing nutrient loses from farms. And we'll connect those to farming efficiency and farming profitability, and also protecting the environment. There are many practices that we now know about and we can put, took, put into play on farms that can get success in all of those areas. We can be economical and profitable, and protect the environment at the same time. And there are many, many examples of farms all over the world doing many of these practices already. May, maybe some of you, in this class, know about some of those farms. And maybe some of you have those farms. And I hope you'll be able to enter into discussions on the discussion topics about some of the things that you're doing, that we may not be able to cover in depth in this course. I hope you'll engage in sharing your. Knowledge and your expertise. Much of what we talk about in this course will apply to conventional farmer farms and also to organic farms, large farms and small farms. We will focus on food production systems we just don't have enough to give an, enough time for all kinds of other agricultural production systems like greenhouses or like animal agriculture although we will touch on livestock production and, and animal production systems. So much of what we, talk about in this course will have, I hope, broad application. And I hope you'll build on it and share your, experiences and your, your knowledge. I'm going to close each lecture with a list of take homes that I consider to be sort of the boiled down nuggets of information a they were, from each of these lectures. So for this first lecture we all acknowledge that population is increasing. It's increasing at a rapid rate for the world. The good news is that perhaps the rate of increase is starting to tail off and will tail off. In the coming decades. But nonetheless there's still a lot of people to feed on the face of the Earth. And so food production, some scientists have estimated, needs to increase by as much as 50 to 70% to meet, the growing demand. So agriculture must increase food. Production. But we're also putting a lot of pressure on agriculture on farmers to increase this food production and at the same time make sure that they're not doing any harm to the environment. We're going to focus on nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus in this course and water quality. But there are many other aspects, of course, to environmental impacts that we, that we want to help farmers adapt to. And I can't help but, make a comment, and I will several times through the course about research and education, and important role that it's played in developing these kinds of BMP's that we'll talk about in the course. Increasing crop productivity through breeding and genetics, many, many, aspects to agriculture that allows, that has come from research and development that have allowed agriculture to persist and be efficient, make money And yes also protect the environment. I think that if you look back through the history we've spent a considerable amount of effort in bringing agriculture to a level of productivity and efficiency today. And Many, many people have now shifted a large amount of effort to helping maintain that productivity. But at the same time helping farmers adapt management strategies that will protect the environment. Just an example that we'll touch base on. More and more scientists are focusing now on what we call nutrient mass budgets for farms. Where are the nutrients on the farm? What are the pools that we find nitrogen in? And where is nitrogen likely to go, from that farm? Is it taken up and used by our crops? Is it lost to leaching? Are there gaseous losses? Does it get in the runoff, and end up in a water body? So, much more effort is now being placed by our researchers and our scientists and our educators on determining best management practices and getting farmers to adopt those. So I think as we go through the course I hope by the time we get through to the 8th week that we'll all have a very hopeful outlook about agriculture. And it'll be positive. And we'll see all the many things that farmers are doing to grow our food and produce our food, high quality food. And do it in an environmentally friendly way. And we'll also acknowledge that there are challenges along the way. And we'll look at some scenarios and some situations where more effort needs to be brought to bear to developing and refining best management practices. So for our first visit together I, I hope that you will enjoy this course, I hope you'll benefit from it. And I hope you'll take at least something from this course that will make a difference, in your, your part of the world. Whether you're a farmer, a small farmer, a large farmer. Whether you're a advisor, or extension person that is trying to help farmers adopt, best management practices. Whether you're someone in-, involved in policy making that affects, farms and the way that we produce food. In the world, or whether you're just, you have absolutely no, connection directly to farming, but you're interested in what farmers do and you want to learn a little bit more about, what they do and how they do it, and how they can produce so much food and do it in a sustainable, manner. So, I look forward to continuing with you on the course, and we'll see you next time.