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« Chart of the Day: China's capital stock compared | Main | Wikistrat post @ CNN-GPS: The consequences of France shifting left »
7:28PM

The future of American agriculture has arrived

Been briefing and writing about this one going back to about . . . I wanna say 2006.  I remember the slide I had my old slidemaster Bradd Hayes generate for what was still the Blueprint for Action brief.

Here is the reality as captured in the piece: US demand flattening, China's skyrocketing - especially for dairy (it's a growing middle class, mind you).

The head of California Dairies: "We're in an evolution. No question."

Markets "once treated as an afterthought" are now "reshaping the relationship between rural America and the rest of the world."

What are you really exporting when you export milk - even milk powder?  Water.  Whether or not you take it out for packanging, a whole lot of water goes into milk - directly and indirectly.

That's why the Kiwis have been in the lead.

It wasn't just the geographic proximity but the excess of water on a per capita basis (New Zealand has about 5 times the water it needs).

California ag exports to China and HK are up 85% since 2008: "All of a sudden, milk powder has become this valuable commodity." The sent this year's Miss California to China to hawk pistachios.

Amber waves of grain, my friends, in a back-to-the-future development that marks the resurgence of the economy - with ag and energy in the lead.

And yeah, both are plenty high-tech.

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Reader Comments (1)

Another thing that America can export is our ability to build quality, reliable and safe products. One of my American customers in China is in a food-related plant. The plant has a lot of issues as a consequence, I think, of too little integration with the quality systems of the States. It's funny that milk would be mentioned. In the last 5 years officials from two Chinese baby-formula companies have been executed: One in Shijiajuang, Hebei Province and one in Wuhu, Anhui Province. China has a tremendous need for better values and more integration into the world economy.

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Dunn

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