Dramatic changes are occurring in the agricultural sector today. These changes provide opportunities for some, but threats for others. Longer-term, four fundamental forces or drivers will shape the business climate that the industry faces. These forces include expanded global production; expanded and diversified global demand; technology and in particular simplification technology; and changes in competitive metrics and expectations as to the acceptable returns to contributed resources. The interaction among these four fundamental forces will determine whether the future business climate for US agriculture is characterized as one of opportunity or one of challenge/threat. These four fundamental forces have the potential to shape a very different agricultural industry compared to that of the 20th century. Twenty-first century agriculture is likely to be characterized by the following: increased concentration and consolidation; expansion of industrialized agriculture; production of differentiated products; precision (information intensive) production and distribution; emergence of ecological agriculture; formation of food supply chains; increasing risk; and more diversity. In this new agriculture of the future, successful companies will need to be better, faster, and cheaper to have a sustainable competitive advantage


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