Seedstock is always interested in learning more about who’s out there starting companies in the sustainable agriculture space. Today we were fortunate enough to speak with Seth Burns, CEO of San Diego, CA based Biogas & Electric LLC.
Burns is a fourth generation cattle rancher with an MBA who hails from Big Timber, Montana and possesses firsthand knowledge of the potential for biogas, (the gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter such as livestock waste in the absence of oxygen), to promote sustainable agriculture.
According to the Hindustani Times, India’s agriculture ministry says that it needs 1,08,000 crore (~$24 billion) over the next 5 years for implementing the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.
A majority of the money, over 60%, will be put toward the development of new technologies, crop varieties, and practices to mitigate climate change.
In 2011, according to the USDA, net farm income will rise by nearly 20%. Gross farm income will reach $400 billion, and for the first time in history total farm production expenses in the US will exceed $300 billion.
These numbers stand as a testament to the enormity of the agriculture market in the US.
However, numerous short-term and long-term challenges and problem areas exist that, whether they are addressed or not, will invariably impact the growth or contraction of the agriculture market both in the US and Worldwide.
When people hear about ‘Peak Oil,’ they immediately fret about increases in prices at the pump and various household products that use petroleum.
‘Peak Phosphorus,’ on the other hand, receives short shrift because the average bystander has no idea of the value and essential role that phosphorus plays in feeding the world’s population. After all, as a friend stated when I asked what he knew about phosphorus: “It’s just the ‘P’ element on the periodic table, right?”
Well yes, that’s right. But it’s also more than that. Phosphorus is one of the three core nutrients along with Nitrogen and Potassium required for plant growth. Phosphorus is also responsible and essential for the construction of DNA and cell membranes in all living organisms. It also plays a pivotal role in bone formation in humans.
As the world waits with baited breath for the next Green Revolution to officially commence (hopefully one driven by sustainable agriculture practices and technologies), here are some quick facts to wrap your head around:
- The UN Population Division estimates that 2050, the world population will peak at around 9 billion an increase of nearly 40% from the current number – 6.5 billion