Globalizing Agriculture Drops Pops Worldwide

<p>As certain agricultural markets are globalizing, many small farming communities from South Dakota to Mississippi to Australia are facing a strong decline in population that shows little sign of rebounding.</p>
November 17, 2006, 10am PST | Nate Berg
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"On the margins of the Australian outback, in the empty states of the US, in the prairie provinces of Canada, and on the remote edges of New Zealand, population centres so enthusiastically developed in the 19th century are now yielding their residents, as well as their vitality."

"The globalisation of wheat pricing, the mechanisation of farming processes, as well as the different expectations of younger generations are all combining to reduce the critical mass of people living in parts of what was once known as the New World."

"The hurt is felt in many small communities located within a broader wheatbelt, where the pressure for farm aggregation, as well as the process of farm mechanisation, has reduced the need for labour. The crop yield per hectare in both communities will have improved over the past 30 years, but the labour required to achieve that output has reduced."

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Published on Thursday, November 9, 2006 in The Australian
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