From farming to food systems

The evolution of US agricultural production and policy into the 21st century

Carolyn Dimitri, Anne Effland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nearly two decades into the 21st century, we revisit the topic of changes in the US agricultural system. We focus on trends in structure, technology and policy, and on the increasing influence of consumer preferences on this system, particularly for organic agriculture and local and regional foods. We examine technological innovations in the 21st century, including biotechnology, precision agriculture and indoor farming. Within overall trends toward consolidation, we identify an increasing number of vegetable farms and greenhouse operations, accompanied by a decrease in average size of those operations. We note the shift away from price support toward greater reliance on risk management in farm policy, and also track the impact of food movement trends on recent farm bills. While farm bill policies continue to focus on conventional field crop agriculture, some trends - expanded crop insurance, conservation program support and spending on federal data collection, research and community-based grants, for example - have begun to incorporate the growing movement toward organic, local and regional food systems into the mainstream of US agricultural production and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

local food systems
Farm Bill
agricultural policy
Agriculture
farming systems
crop insurance
agriculture
agricultural subsidies
Food
traditional foods
precision agriculture
conservation programs
consumer preferences
risk management
field crops
organic production
biotechnology
vegetables
Inventions
Organic Agriculture

Keywords

  • Agricultural policy
  • biotechnology
  • farm bill
  • farm policy
  • farm structure
  • food movement
  • food systems
  • indoor farming
  • precision agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

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