Getting rid of any farm subsidy is a difficult proposition, says Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute. But he says the ethanol subsidy may not be as durable as past ag subsidies, especially as the truth about global warming becomes more widely known.

The earth warms and cools in a very consistent 1,500-year cycle, he says. He predicts the earth will warm 0.5o C. over the next 300 years and will enter a short-term cooling cycle in the coming 25-30 years.

“There will be no significant global warming and efforts to replace fossil fuels will be abandoned,” he predicts. “Thus, the world’s people will continue to get richer and more numerous. Farmers and ranchers will have to double global food production in the very short period of 40 years because meat and milk demand will more than double.”

Avery says since we already farm 37% of the earth’s land area, we cannot double food production simply by plowing more land and using more of today’s inputs.

“We must find new ways to add yield and productivity on the best land, or watch the world’s wild species be displaced by the plow. Fortunately, given the lack of global warming, farmers will be able to keep their nitrogen fertilizer and their diesel machinery instead of putting half their land back into horse pasture,” he says.

Given the expected population increase, Avery says urbanites will have to welcome farming’s further intensification or lose its wildlands and wild species.

“The best land suffers the least erosion and never had many wild species,” he says. “We must use that top-producing land for all the output it can sustain, rather than plowing the poorer land.”

The same can be said for animal agriculture. “Confinement feeding produces more meat per pound of feed, is kinder to the animals and puts less carbon into the air than grass-fed beef,” he says. “It is also a key element in protecting the wildlands from encroachment.”

During this period, farmers and ranchers must do something they have never done – “tell urbanites why they farm differently from their grandfathers to feed the hungry even as we save more land for nature.” Avery says most urban dwellers don’t think twice about using pesticides to prevent fleas on their pets and in their homes. “We need to use this to explain to urban consumers why we need pesticides, too.”

Watch more from Dennis Avery in Technology Will Feed the World.

For more info, go to www.cgfi.org.