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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.


tonymmorley OP t1_iwa6k0b wrote

>"After more than 9,000 years in cultivation, annual paddy rice is now available as a long-lived perennial. The advancement means farmers can plant just once and reap up to eight harvests without sacrificing yield, an important step change relative to "ratooning," or cutting back annual rice to obtain a second, weaker harvest."

Between 1961 and 2020, global rice yields have grown by 146%, from 1.87 tonnes per hectare to 4.61 tonnes per hectare. These increases in rice yields, largely driven by improvements and access to fertilizer and mechanized agriculture; have helped feed the world. 🥣

China's rice yield has improved even more dramatically over the same period, by some 245%, from 2.04 tonnes per hectare in 1961 to 7.04 tonnes per hectare in 2020.


interestingpanzer t1_iwa7spt wrote

It's amazing what selective breeding can do. Sure fertilizers were also used but the output per hectare increase is also hugely owed to the long term effort of cultivating new varieties and has really paid off.


Due_Platypus_3913 t1_iwaoh2y wrote

I wonder if this comes with a huge savings in water?Seems like it would,and if so,THAT would be almost as big a game changer as th higher yields.Many parts of the world (I’m in California)have dwindling water supplies for agriculture.More water efficient crops would be the best!


ZorbaTHut t1_iwavhby wrote

Keep in mind that the twin problem of rice using lots of water and California not having much water can be easily solved by not growing rice in California.

Not every crop needs to be viable everywhere, and there's honestly probably a market for extra-water-hungry rice as long as it produces even more.


invent_or_die t1_iwb2lfx wrote

And not only that, the rice is Exported to Asia. We need to grow food for America. Almonds are the same. Shipped to Asia.


omegasix321 t1_iwbdjde wrote

If you want that to be the case, then government action is needed. Otherwise, businesses will just continue to sell to the highest bidder for maximum profit.


invent_or_die t1_iwbgdt4 wrote

Exactly! How do we give incentives to create food for America, rather than foreign countries? Or disincentives for overseas sales? Profit, I'm sorry to say, should have limits and it is destroying the world. Seriously, look at the richest guy and the shitstorm called Twitter he just bought. A horrible, selfish purchase that showed he considers us all miners working for him like the slaves in his families emerald mines. Humans mean little to a guy who could have say eliminated all lead pipes in the USA, or significantly reduced homelessness, but no, baby wants a new platinum microphone. Well, I don't want to listen. I liked SpaceX but now Elon will have an asterisk forever next him. Greed needs to die, painfully.


camatthew88 t1_iwbiipe wrote

What about bill gates. Let's make him donate his money away to end world hunger.


invent_or_die t1_iwbk2gd wrote

He already is; billion or more spent on vaccines. I heard he bought farms.


camatthew88 t1_iwbpee5 wrote

The point is we cannot expect one billionaire to solve all of the worlds problems through donating his or her money to charity


omegasix321 t1_iwbrojo wrote

Frankly we shouldn’t have individual people with that capability anyway. That’s way too much power for any one person.

Saving the world is a collective effort, not the vanity project of a select few.


OriginalCompetitive t1_iwbsq51 wrote

He tried not to purchase it, but the previous owners of Twitter and the courts wouldn’t let him back out. Maybe they share the blame? When the moment came, they cashed out for profit and abandoned Twitter to someone who didn’t even want it.


Ulyks t1_iwcsqao wrote

Making water more expensive would quickly make that trade unprofitable.

Water scarcity is real. It's better to make prices reflect It's true value.


omegasix321 t1_iwd4zf3 wrote

Agreed, though I'd only extend this to water used for agricultural and entertainment purposes. We really shouldn't be charging regular people extra for a daily necessity like water.

Also strict limits and regulations on the import and export of water internationally. To avoid foreign governments from writing blank cheques to keep buying water on a mass scale.


Ulyks t1_iwft03z wrote

I don't think forbidding the sale of water internationally would be a good idea.

Many places like Hong Kong heavily depend on imports of water.

They could build desalination plants but those are often very polluting as they don't have space for more passive solar powered desalination systems.

But farmers in California for example pay only 70$ for an acre-foot of water. An acre-foot is 1233m³ and is enough for about 10 families for a year (that pay on average 70$ per month).

So farmers are paying less than 1% of the price of the water.

Maybe bringing that up to 100% would be too large of a shock and put all farmers out of business but it's clear they will have to pay a larger share in the future.

Perhaps they can make exceptions for locally consumed foods to incentivize that. But that is a bit hard to track and verify. And I think more expensive food would most likely be consumed locally anyway.


omegasix321 t1_iwg1dc3 wrote

Not forbid, just heavily regulate. Make sure you settle all domestic uses for water first and then sell abroad. But only to the point where it can be easily replenished in a short amount of time.

Right now we need to focus on our own needs and replenishing our reservoirs more than anything, otherwise ‘nobody’ is getting water.


FishMichigan t1_iwasj0t wrote

Rice grows in water, you will always have evaporation issues. Big ag flood & drains fields. Either way, rice will always have an insanely high water usage.


invent_or_die t1_iwb2hv8 wrote

Actually, rice does not have to be grown in standing water, as I understand. It's grown in water to eliminate weeding! I'll search for a link. Farmers, please inform


Dsiee t1_iwb46e7 wrote

Correct. The water helps hold it upright too.


invent_or_die t1_iwb4o8c wrote

So we could possibly grow rice with less water, some other method perhaps?
Perennial is a huge plus.


Artanthos t1_iwc2ws7 wrote

Reduced water, vastly increased labor and pesticides.

Rice is usually grown in areas where water is not an issue.

The bigger issue with rice is methane emissions.


invent_or_die t1_iwcw45i wrote

Agreed, they why CA AG Bureau, did you approve THREATS TO OUR FOOD SUPPLY? I guess the China checks cash anywhere.


VeganSuperPowerz t1_iwbp41c wrote

True, and flooding the fields allows them to grow fish in the same spot they produce rice. It’s a really efficient system


heavymetalhikikomori t1_iwagsc0 wrote

Meanwhile, Monsanto genetically engineers its grain to only produce one yield so that farmers are forced to buy new seed every season.


genshiryoku t1_iwb2afh wrote

This is misinformation spread by conspiracy theorists. All seeds sold on the open market are already intellectual property. Farmers don't collect seed manually to re-grow a crop because that isn't cost effective.

Monsanto engineered the crop on purpose to not produce seeds because it would save the farmers time and money. I should also note that monsanto seeds are more cost effective than alternatives because you can save a lot of money by not having to spray as much pesticides and use less fertilizer. Saving a lot in terms of both labor and resources. It's also better for the environment.


fallingcats_net t1_iwbkt8m wrote

Know why it isn't cost effective? Because they get sued.


[deleted] t1_iwbqai8 wrote

And because planting seeds from a hybrid gives wildly varying results, which you can't market.


Stjaertlapp t1_iwbg8lq wrote

They do around the world, but buying seeds allows farmrs to pick and choose varieties, they dont need seed handling machines and dont need silos to keep the seeds . In many places they are self maintained and do the whole process.


thesephantomhands t1_iwauthl wrote

I just finished the book Regenesis and it talks all about this as a way of establishing better connections to the soil and a less rapacious relationship to the environment in general. The world needs food production to be high yield low impact, with tilling, fertilizers, and herbicides being some of the most taxing things we do. This represents a step in the way of a more sustainable future. And Regenesis is a truly great exploration of these issues - definitely worth a read.


mhornberger t1_iwcln9a wrote

Unfortunately most of the methods he wrote about were very labor-intensive. Those guys rarely get a day off, and it has to be a work of passion for them. I don't see that scaling.


thesephantomhands t1_iwcmnkw wrote

If that's true, it would definitely be a hurdle. But the benefit of a perennial (according to the book in the way that it's presented), it would require no tilling, less pesticides, herbicides, etc. Just the difference in no-till versus tilling every year is a dropoff in labor. There might be other things that I'm missing. What extra labor are you talking about?


mhornberger t1_iwcn2g6 wrote

> What extra labor are you talking about?

The book itself talked about how labor-intensive some of the processes were. Not amenable to automation. I'm not asserting it's more labor-intensive, rather the book mentioned that several times. I only got halfway through it though. I felt it was talking either about shifts that were already happening (no till, cover crops, etc), or that wouldn't scale.


thesephantomhands t1_iwco6a7 wrote

Okay, I could see where you're coming from, but I don't remember him talking about things that wouldn't scale or things that were prohibitively labor intensive. I'm very new to all of this, but I was quite inspired by the book. If they're going to be solutions or helpful, we would need to take those factors into account.


Seen_Unseen t1_iwb5ejm wrote

Could someone help me understand how these yields in China are achieved? They have been already significantly above the "world average", but on top they seem to really jump in the 60/70's which is right after the disastrous Great Famine. It also seems rather odd when you know how Chinese farming goes, that isn't large industrialized farming but small scale farming as everyone has a single mu of ground what they exploit.


zenzealot t1_iwcbq6a wrote

Any idea how an amateur gardener can get his hands on some super rice seeds?


Yumewomiteru t1_iwi6q3f wrote

China and Uganda have lots of mouths to feed, so breakthroughs like this come a long way for them.


FuturologyBot t1_iwa90le wrote

The following submission statement was provided by /u/tonymmorley:

>"After more than 9,000 years in cultivation, annual paddy rice is now available as a long-lived perennial. The advancement means farmers can plant just once and reap up to eight harvests without sacrificing yield, an important step change relative to "ratooning," or cutting back annual rice to obtain a second, weaker harvest."

Between 1961 and 2020, global rice yields have grown by 146%, from 1.87 tonnes per hectare to 4.61 tonnes per hectare. These increases in rice yields, largely driven by improvements and access to fertilizer and mechanized agriculture; have helped feed the world. 🥣

China's rice yield has improved even more dramatically over the same period, by some 245%, from 2.04 tonnes per hectare in 1961 to 7.04 tonnes per hectare in 2020.

Please reply to OP's comment here:


OliverSparrow t1_iwbbx4x wrote

How do they combat perennial grassy and sedge weeds? Broadleaf ones are easy, of course.


FeistyCanuck t1_iwd9vr6 wrote

In western Canada homesteaders were given a quarter section each to farm. That's 1 quarter of a square mile or 160 acres if it was all farmable which it seldom is due to ponds/creeks etc.

When I was growing up we visited the farm where my mom grew up and my uncle and grandfather still farmed. By that point they were farming 4-5 sections, so land that 20 families originally homesteaded 2500-3000 acres.

My uncles younger son still farm's there now, but with modern equipment and a big team seasonally he is cultivating over 15000 acres of wheat/canola/lentils which translates to land that originally over 100 families homesteaded.

Farms don't have to be THAT big to be economical but at least here you probably need to farm a few thousand acres to be able to to afford modern equipment.


twasjc t1_ix1sj2m wrote

Can we do this kind of stuff with black rice? I feel like prioritizing healthier rice is better long term


[deleted] t1_iwafgtt wrote



GawainSolus t1_iwagpa3 wrote

Bruh. I ain't a fan of the Chinese government either but come on. That's just stupid.


deck4242 t1_iwc11g6 wrote

Thats GMO right ? We are celebrating choosing GMO over controlled demographic and better futur and consideration for farmers ..


Pepperminteapls t1_iwbmwdb wrote

Sprayed with roundup. I never buy rice from China anymore


[deleted] t1_iwavjei wrote



Themasterofcomedy209 t1_iwb1znx wrote

Oh I don’t know maybe because it’s the biggest country in the world so statistically they’re going to come up with stuff?

And I don’t see your point, I see China on here about as much as Europe or the US. You’re not thinking clearly