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Agricultural Management: the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture. Steve Sonka, Research Professor May 7, 2014. Why Reduce Post-harvest Loss? Some Hypotheses. Estimates suggest 1/3 of agricultural production is “wasted” and doesn’t reach food consumer Investment required to reduce PHL could be modest

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agricultural management the art of loss free agriculture

Agricultural Management:the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture

Steve Sonka, Research Professor

May 7, 2014

why reduce post harvest loss some hypotheses
Why Reduce Post-harvest Loss?Some Hypotheses
  • Estimates suggest 1/3 of agricultural production is “wasted” and doesn’t reach food consumer
  • Investment required to reduce PHL could be modest
  • Technology advances should make reduction more feasible and less expensive
  • Arable land, water, energy are in limited supply – reducing PHL can lessen pressure on scarce resources
agricultural management and the art of loss free agriculture2
Agricultural Managementand the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture

Not really that young !

Started work young

econ 101
Econ 101

$s

Cost of Reduction

S

1/3rd of

production

is lost

Reduced

Loss

(%)

D

Original

Setting

100 %

Reduction

econ 101 from loss to gain
Econ 101: From Loss to Gain

Gain

$s

Cost of Reduction

S

S1

Loss to be

Captured

Cost of

Doing Business

D1

Enhanced Quality

Reduced

Loss

(%)

D

Original

Setting

100 %

Reduction

econ 101 converting more loss to gain
Econ 101: Converting MoreLoss to Gain

Gain

Loss to be

Captured

$s

Cost of Reduction

S

S1

S2

Cost of

Doing Business

D2

D1

Enhanced Quality

Reduced

Loss

(%)

D

Original

Setting

Setting

1

100 %

Reduction

change did occur cont d
Change did occur (cont’d)

But not all technologies adopted

http://richardnilsen.com/2013/11/24/central-appalachians/

how did change occur
??How?? Did Change Occur?
  • Parents never took the Econ 101 class
  • But changes to reduce loss did occur
    • Availability of effective technologies/Financial capability --- necessary, not sufficient
  • Local experience w/ adaptation
  • Multiple, credible, confirming sources of info
  • Assurance of technical support
  • Organizational innovation

Soft

Infrastructure

summary thoughts
Summary Thoughts
  • The art of loss-free agriculture begins with understanding the farmer’s & manager’s perspective
      • of “loss” that can be converted to gain

versus

      • “loss” which is a cost of doing business. 
  • Urgent need is research & engagement focused on:

Why farmers don’t employ the proven and relatively simple

technologies and practices that are known to reduce loss?   

email ssonka@illinois edu website http postharvestinstitute illinois edu
Email: [email protected]: http://postharvestinstitute.illinois.edu
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