While the future is nearly impossible to predict, we can learn a great deal from the past. And that’s exactly what dairy experts from around the world have been doing; a team of researchers who are looking at what dairy production could look like in the year 2068. From changes in genetics and technology, to a global population increasing by about 3 billion people, it all goes hand-in-hand.
“From the product standpoint, if 82% of the growth in the next 50 years is going to be outside of the more developed countries, and outside of the U.S.,” said project lead Jack Britt. “We need to find out how to make products that people with increasing income levels in other countries, growing countries, what kind of products do they need? So these are the questions that will be really important if we want to have a robust dairy industry in 50 years.”
While population growth will drive demand for dairy products, Britt said Mother Nature will continue to cause challenges when it comes to uncertain weather patterns and available resources.
“What we see as dairying in the U.S. and North America for example, is going to move northward, and that’s going to be primarily caused by a limit in water availability.”
Britt’s forecasts point toward dairies moving from the southwest and the west to the upper Midwest, where the growing season is expected to be 6-8 weeks longer in 50 years.
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