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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 agriculture
Agricultural Managementand the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture


Agricultural management and the art of loss free agriculture1
Agricultural Managementand the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture

Iowa


Agricultural management and the art of loss free agriculture2
Agricultural Managementand the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture

Not really that young !

Started work young


Agricultural management and the art of loss free agriculture3
Agricultural Managementand the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture

Actually rode pony

to herd cattle


Agricultural management and the art of loss free agriculture4
Agricultural Managementand the Art of Loss-Free Agriculture

Hammermill


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/



More changes which could reduce loss
More Changes Which Could Reduce Loss

(IRRI, 2013)


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?   



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