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nova9001 t1_iwa93yq wrote

>Everyone's going to the cities; young people are moving away. Planting rice is very labor intensive and costs a lot of money. By not having to plant twice a year, they save a lot of labor and time," says Erik Sacks, professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and co-author on the report.

Sucks that agriculture is such an important industry and nobody wants to work in it. Using technology to improve yield and profits is definitely the way to go. Hopefully it gets profitable enough that it draws people back in.


DrHalibutMD t1_iwaehwg wrote

It’s not that people don’t want to do it, it’s just not economically viable. You needs tons of people at certain times but the rest of the year a tiny fraction. What are all those people supposed to do the rest of the year when they are not needed and how much are you going to pay them to drop everything when they are?


Riversntallbuildings t1_iwan7li wrote

Correct. If there was UBI and I didn’t have to worry about the markets and healthcare and all sorts of other necessities, I would gladly farm my life away.


SprucedUpSpices t1_iwbo1ga wrote

Farming's very hard. The vast majority of people wouldn't do it for free.


EkkoGold t1_iwbqd1o wrote

UBI doesn't mean you do work for free. You do work to supplement your basic income

So you'd be getting paid on top of your UBI to do farm work. It's still hard labor and not for everyone, but you're more likely to find people willing to "try it" when they aren't having to do it to survive


TheHunnyRunner t1_iwbsj6j wrote

Agreed. As a young man I helped my great uncle run his apple orchard. We thinned the apples in the heavy rain, cut/scraped skin daily, set and repaired irrigation. Then when it was harvest time, we picked a sack of apples for time (piece work) while trying to also be safe with ladder placements in near 100 degree heat. It's hard work.


Riversntallbuildings t1_iwce2uc wrote

Yup. I grew up on a rural farm. It was brutal, especially in the winter.

Still, there’s something rewarding about growing food for other people and spending most of my time outside in nature. I’m sure I’m romanticizing it a bit.


mhornberger t1_iwcl60o wrote

Most people mean they'd putter around so long as it was amusing. They'd never want to have to survive that way. They're mistaking a hobby garden for a farm.


Willow-girl t1_iwbofup wrote

I did it for nearly 20 years; you just have to get used to being really poor.

And, what is this "healthcare" of which you speak?


nova9001 t1_iwaf6gd wrote

Indeed. Its tiring and low profit.

Might as well get an office job. I am hopeful tech can reverse the trend.


fizban7 t1_iwbv5ej wrote

As a person with an office job, we should be required to work on a farm once a year to remind ourselves how good we got it.


FeistyCanuck t1_iwda3f4 wrote

Yea but the tech way one family can farm land that once needed 10s of family's.


Z3r0sama2017 t1_iwfu1jy wrote

At the low low cost of devastating long term soil health, top soil retention, draining aquifers dry and polluting waterways with chemical run off. Other than that you are indeed correct.


FeistyCanuck t1_iwhie9g wrote

Big farms can be done responsibly too. A lot of that is related to education and training (and caring) that someone managing a large farm with a long term vision may have but potentially the small scale borderline bankrupt farm might not.


Sixnno t1_iwavl11 wrote

Yeah. You need a ton of labor for 4 to 6 Months then have nothing for 6 to 8.

UBI can help with that.


Willow-girl t1_iwboc09 wrote

In northern Michigan, where I'm from, all the farmers rely on the seasonal help of "disabled" former factory workers who moved up north to take advantage of the LCOL. They work just enough to supplement their Social Security checks, but not so much as to get kicked off disability.


nomokatsa t1_iwbvwel wrote

Having different crops, with work-intensive seasons spread out, helps;

Alternatively, have an army or students which can be ordered to gather/plant the stuff, as the Soviet Union had it, for example xD


Forsaken_Jelly t1_iwatecs wrote

Unfortunately doing so has in the past lowered the nutritional quality of the crops we grow. And honestly with perennial crops it's pretty much impossible to get nutritional facts to make a comparison.

It's all about profitability and yield, with the argument that we'll be able to feed a growing population. I wonder if the nutritional quality suffering would outweigh the benefits of easier cultivation.

I've read good arguments for it (choosing high yield over high quality crops) being the main factor in uncontrollable obesity rates in many countries. Nutrient deficiencies are skyrocketing in Western nations especially the largest consumer nations like the US and UK.

Honestly, I don't understand why they're pushing the economic angle so hard while almost completely avoiding a nutrition discussion, if the quality is lower like most fruit and vegetables we're going to have an unhealthier population in the future with much lower life expectancy.


JessTheKitsune t1_iway8n5 wrote

Because, like most other things in countries, we've been overlooking everything else in the name of profits for a long, long time now. We're only just seeing the consequences of a system being turned away from being invested into, to make sure that it gives you the highest possible yield, all the time, as they claw bit by bit the underlying infrastructure and such that had been there for decades." It's good for business, so it's good for you! " has been the motto too long. Sad.


Willow-girl t1_iwbo284 wrote

> Honestly, I don't understand why they're pushing the economic angle so hard while almost completely avoiding a nutrition discussion,

It seems people like tasty food, especially if it's cheap, but the masses won't pay a premium for superior nutrition.

The market delivers what the people want. It's not capitalism's fault if people aren't too worried about nutrition.


Forsaken_Jelly t1_iwebkll wrote

Sorry, but the "capitalism delivers" argument doesn't work here.

No one goes into the supermarket or grocers and asks for high yield vegetables or fruit and unlike processed foods that require nutritional labelling the same doesn't apply to things like carrots or apples. We're not given comparative nutritional information when we purchase those, so we're not given the option of choosing the most nutritious because we don't know which ones are.

The EU has become a lot better at regulating them, especially pesticide use and nutritional quality, not sure about the US. But here in Asia there's almost no regulation on loose fruit and veg, except how they look.

If we're given the choice then we could say it's what people are choosing, but we're not. We don't have control over what food appears on the shelves, no one is going to burn the supermarket down for not having strawberries available out of season. Again, there is nothing you will find about perennial strain's nutritional quality, it's all focused on greater yields, lower costs and larger profits for producers. Nothing at all about quality. It's completely ignored as a discussion which tells me it must be lower or it'd part of the sales pitch for them.

It's actually hilarious, because we have GMO strains that are insanely nutritious and safe, but they won't legalise them because it ruins the large food corporations like monstanto from patenting their strains and charging farmers for their use. Then suing the crap out of farmers who used their seeds without permission or had strains naturally blow onto and propagate on their land.

We have a solution but it hurts profits so they'll pay millions on advertising and campaigns to shit on GMOs and make people fear them.


Willow-girl t1_iwf96km wrote

> Again, there is nothing you will find about perennial strain's nutritional quality, it's all focused on greater yields, lower costs and larger profits for producers.

If enough people were demanding this, and stores could increase their profits by stocking such products and providing said information, you can be certain that it would be done.


Forsaken_Jelly t1_iwff4ok wrote

There you go, the second half of your sentence hit the nail on the head.

Stores would only do it if it would increase their profits, companies fought hard to prevent nutritional labelling in the first place. It's nothing to do with demand, we see that with what happened with organic produce, they made it a "speciality" food and charged far above the value because it was a middle-class trend.

I like how the EU is approaching things with future proposals to make food a right, would mean that quality would have to trump profitability.

It's crazy that things like water and food, which are essential for life can be treated like a commodity instead of a necessity. Agriculture is a business and like any business they'll cut all the corners they can including safety and quality as long as people buy them. But so few people are properly educated about food that few will demand better quality products beyond flavour and aesthetics. Waxed apples are a great example. One of the lowest quality types of apple, bred for aesthetics and size, rather than nutritional value.

The worst part of this is that eating four modern carrots doesn't even have the same nutritional value as one grown a hundred years ago so it leads to a need to eat more, which raises demand. It's an insidious and purposefuly done. To create greater demand by forcing people to eat worse food meaning they need to buy more to sustain themselves.

Higher yield + lower quality means people need to eat more calories just to cover their nutritional needs.

The real issue of food security is in the nutritional quality, not how many we can grow. It's pretty sickening that we've allowed this to be the case. And its very telling that there are no discussions of quality in the agriculture industry, just yield and profits. Grow more, sell more, fuck the quality and fuck the effect it has on aging global population that will already struggle health-wise due to increasing costs will start to die off younger due to deficiencies.


Willow-girl t1_iwghpkw wrote

> It's crazy that things like water and food, which are essential for life can be treated like a commodity instead of a necessity.

No, not crazy at all, considering that you generally need someone else's inputs to have clean drinking water and food. Someone has to maintain that municipal water system, or drill your well and run pipes. Someone has to grow food, milk cows, work in the slaughterhouse, process the harvest, drive trucks and unload them in order for your grocers' shelves to be stocked.

Why do you think you deserve all of this labor for free, without doing something productive yourself in order to earn it?

The economy works when you trade the fruits of your labor for the fruits of other people's labor.


Forsaken_Jelly t1_iwoi9x2 wrote

You're right, but it's not a fair trade when it's a massive corporation making obscene profits while providing unhealthy foods, and foods grown specifically for profit and not nutrition. We're not talking about going down to a farmers market and swapping some of your craft for fresh decent food.

We're talking about paying through the nose for low quality products and poor regulations from governments that care only about catering to the wealthiest.


nomokatsa t1_iwbwbhq wrote

I've yet to meet the person who is overweight from eating too much rice (high quality or low), fruit or vegetables... (Unless counting fried onion rings or potato chips, but there, no quality survives anyway)


atjones111 t1_iwbrm2p wrote

Food shouldn’t be created with profits in mind, that’s how you end up with the American diet


[deleted] t1_iwc9wwn wrote

You think people in Europe make food for free or what?


atjones111 t1_iwda8pt wrote

No my point is that Americans eat food in which we have no idea what’s in it and it’s made to cheaply and unhealthily to turn a huge profit, like when Michelle Obama changed school lunches to save money, it became inedible and unhealthy, and if these foods weren’t created with the mindset of squeezing the profits they’d be much better


[deleted] t1_iwdonxe wrote

Oh yea…I think we’re trending that way now. Lots of us stopped buying a lot of that shit and are now forking out a lot of extra on “organic” shit / stuff with out a billion ingredients in it.

I joke that A hobo in the 1890s was eating way CLEANER food than any of us haha


nova9001 t1_iwbs1ts wrote

I disagree. Without profits in mind, who wants to be involved in it?


atjones111 t1_iwbscjs wrote

The millions and millions of people who are starving and just want food, mix profit in and no there’s no motivation give food to starving people, this is really no different than profits in healthcare


nova9001 t1_iwbvlv2 wrote

You can have profits and still have good service. Just look at countries outside of US. US is probably the worst example to use when it comes to healthcare.


atjones111 t1_iwbvz15 wrote

That was sort of my point US chooses profits for healthcare and it’s a shit system and no one can get care it’s only for people with money and the same goes for food in the US


danielv123 t1_iwclps6 wrote

There are also profits in a single payer healthcare system, it's what drives providers to offer a better service.


atjones111 t1_iwdam4r wrote

If it’s a single payer healthcare system there’s no other providers. . .


danielv123 t1_iwdp083 wrote

Single payer doesn't mean there aren't multiple sellers. The sellers compete for business. There aren't any competitive issues unless the government decides to not allow competition anymore in their bidding process. Among the sellers you will find all the large American giants as well as local ones.


atjones111 t1_iwdr0t2 wrote

Single payer healthcare means your government pays for it I think your confused on what it means, look it up and come back to me


danielv123 t1_iwdujd4 wrote

I see you are confused about how the bidding process in a single payer healthcare system works. Yes, the government pays. That is the single payer part. That doesn't mean the government provides the healthcare. If i need a medicine then my doctor (who owns his own practice and is paid through copay, fixed government sum and extra pay for certain procedures) prescribes it, then its bought by the pharmacy from a foreign company and billed to the government.

The government negotiates the price for every step of the process. They dictate the copay, the fixed sum per patient to the doctor, prices of all procedures, what medicines and treatments are covered, who gets to cover them, and at what price.

To determine what is covered, who gets to cover what and at what price the healthcare providers negotiates with the government. This ensures there is effective competition in the market and prices are managed effectively.


Josvan135 t1_iwk0ond wrote

>no one can get care

This is extremely disingenuous, the vast majority of Americans access high-quality healthcare without any issue, with only a small minority (+-10%) experiencing difficulties with healthcare.

>it’s only for people with money

More than 90% of Americans have health insurance of one kind or another, and a similar amount have accessed the healthcare system when needed.

You're erroneously extrapolating out the negative experiences of a small minority of the population to "everyone".


atjones111 t1_iwkwevp wrote

erroneously extrapolating this one had me rolling ngl, you seemed to have forgotten 2 very important things, the incredibly high cost of it, and the biggest one is that all this is tied to your job which is really the main issue


Glodraph t1_iwchkof wrote

With how shitty soil is becoming, how poor biodiverity there is, how pollinators are dying and how expensive fertilizers are getting, food could easily become a thing of the past in the coming don't worry.