How Innovation Can Feed the World

  • Sep 12, 2016
How Innovation Can Feed the World
The Land O’Lakes, Inc. cooperative network comprises more than 4,000 member-owners, including direct agriculture and dairy producers and independently owned and operated ag retailers. These retailers run thousands of locations across the United States, with approximately 300,000 farmers in their system representing close to 100 million acres.
 
As part of this cooperative, we touch each piece of our member-owners’ operations: We supply them with crop inputs and animal feed, distribute their dairy products, and help them run their farms more productively. It’s all part of our overall goal to feed the world in the most sustainable way possible by embracing cloud, big data and mobile technologies.
 
Technology has had a profound impact on increasing agricultural yields and on-farm productivity. First, the mechanized revolution introduced the tractor to American farms in the early 1900s. Then, starting in 1950, the biotech revolution helped us develop seeds that resisted pests and diseases.
 
Now, we’re moving into the ag tech revolution — applying computer science and technology to the planning, planting, growing and harvesting of our crops. In 1940, a single farmer fed about 19 people. In 2012, one farmer fed 155 people. Technology adoption has enabled one of the greatest productivity stories of our generation and resulted in lifting millions out of hunger by reducing the cost of the food we eat.
 
Today, Land O’Lakes and WinField are among the largest distributors of agriculture technology to farmers in the United States. We provide both proprietary and third-party applications to our members to help them optimize their production and output while minimizing their inputs, all in the most sustainable way possible.
 
Here is an example of a family farm that is using technology to grow its operation:



Our investments in ag technology are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our commitment to leading the ag tech revolution. We have truly transformed how we work and serve our cooperative members and farmers, and the benefits are clear to our business and our mission to feed human progress.