State of Farming Survey: Americans Believe 2050 Is When Things Will Get Bad
OAKLAND, Calif.—Mar. xx, 2018—Ceres Imaging, which provides science-backed aerial images to growers, has today released the results of its 2018 State of Farming Survey. The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted on behalf of Ceres Imaging by Propeller Insights in January 2018, determined that Americans are more than a little concerned about the national and global implications of climate change—particularly water scarcity—and how it will impact the American farming industry, food prices and the cultivation of their favorite crops.
More than three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) are worried about the state of farming in the United States today. The top concern is that climate change will affect production (59 percent). While Americans under the age of 55 are especially concerned about climate change (62 percent), the generations are more or less united, at 43 percent, in their concern over how water scarcity will impact the American farming industry:
- The vast majority of Americans (86 percent) are concerned about water scarcity on the larger scale and do believe it will impact American crops
- More than half (59 percent) believe this will happen within the next 25 years
- 2050 is also when two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) believe water scarcity will impact global food supplies
Americans feel that water scarcity is the greatest threat to wine growers (52 percent) and almond growers (48 percent) and the second-greatest threat to fruit growers (57 percent).
“Maintaining ideal irrigation levels is a huge challenge for farmers, and will continue to be as climate change creates more extreme weather patterns,” said Ashwin Madgavkar, CEO of Ceres Imaging. “It is vitally important for them to know if their crops are getting sufficient water or if they have become water-stressed, and to take efficient corrective actions before they result in crop losses. We pride ourselves on providing images that help growers accomplish this.”
Favorite crops under threat
When it comes to other major threats to their favorite crops, Americans worry about fires (39 percent), pests (38 percent) and diseases (37 percent) interfering with wine production; pests (41 percent) and diseases (36 percent) interfering with the cultivation of almonds and other nuts; and fruit growers contending with pests (58 percent) and diseases (48 percent).
As for endangered crops that Americans are most worried about:
- Bananas top the list (45 percent), followed by chocolate (38 percent) and almonds (28 percent)
- Americans living in the West (32 percent) and the South (28 percent) are more concerned about almonds than Americans living elsewhere (25 percent)
- Millennials (age 18-34) are more concerned about wine (23 percent) than Americans in other age groups (14 percent)
- Americans in the Northeast are more concerned about wine (21 percent) than Americans living elsewhere (16 percent)
Americans also expressed unprompted concern about GMOs, the use of pesticides, the declining bee populations, the ability of small farmers to make a living wage and rising food costs due to food shortages.
Helping farmers manage resources efficiently
Founded in 2013, Ceres Imaging uses aerial spectral imagery and neural networks to tell farmers which crops aren’t getting enough water or to detect pests and diseases before an outbreak.
The company’s aerial imagery can show things that satellite imagery cannot—like irrigation issues, nutrient supply issues, pest problems, soil quality and pest infestation—using cameras that can register up to six different wavelengths of the light spectrum at once. The images are then processed using powerful machine learning algorithms, which crunch the data and help farmers decide how and where to take action.
Added Madgavkar: “This technology has never been so necessary: as the world’s weather patterns become increasingly extreme and erratic, crops are more vulnerable to pests and diseases, and the efficient use of natural resources is critical.”
About Ceres Imaging
Ceres Imaging is a California-based provider of aerial imagery for farmers and agriculture companies. Ceres products serve as an early warning system of threats to crops before losses occur, highlighting irrigation problems, disease and pests. Ceres offers pest and disease monitoring for Midwest grain farmers in partnership with Evergreen FS. It also serves vineyards and tree nut growers with a unique Water Stress view backed by research conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension. For more information, visit CeresImaging.net.