Innovation in agriculture

From Marginal Revolution:

Take the case of the Netherlands. Unbeknown to most people, it is world’s third largest agricultural exporter, despite having little land (it has the world’s fifth highest population density). This has been possible because the Dutch have “industrialised” agriculture by, for example, deploying hydroponic agriculture (growing plants in water) that uses computer-controlled feeding of high-quality chemicals—something that would not have been possible if the Netherlands did not have some of the world’s most advanced chemical and electronics industries.

Being that my grandparents own a farm in southern Illinois, agriculture has been ever present. I remember reading when I was a kid that the Dutch were getting bushel per acre yields that were nearly 1/2 larger than anything in Illinois, which has some of most productive land in the world. Innovation works.

First published Jul 6, 2011