So instead of global famine, food production tripled even as world population doubled. As a result, the amount of daily calories per capita rose from 2,400 in 1960 to nearly 3,000 today.
I have a friend who is a PHD agronomist from Brazil, he tells me that beef production per acre in Brazil would 6x higher if the average rancher used the practices of the best ranchers. So we have plenty more to go see below.
Researchers at Rockefeller University counter that—because the backlog of productivity enhancing technologies—humanity is on the verge of “peak farmland” and that by 2060 farmers will have returned an area 10 times the size of Iowa to nature, and even more if governments stop subsidizing biofuels.Also:
The surge in food prices also occurred because huge amounts are being diverted into biofuels. Bourne notes that the International Food Policy Research Institute calculated that biofuel production drove up food prices by 40 to 70 percent. The calories in the 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop that is used to produce biofuel would be enough to feed everyone in Africa for a year. In addition, reducing the third of food that is discarded, spoiled, or eaten by pests would increase supplies by nearly 50 percent.
One other often ignored thing, if you look at the chart here, you will see that some lesser used crops like sweet potatoes yield much more per acre than wheat, corn and rice. I have read that tree crops have even greater yields per acre than potatoes.
Then there is new technology. A 50% increase in wheat yields is at least theoretically possible.