The political economy of unsustainable lock-ins in North American commodity agriculture: a path forward – Response to Struckman

  • Silvia Secchi University of Iowa

Abstract

In this commentary, I argue that in North America, the overuse of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is due to institutional and technological lock-ins, which are the result of historical policies with deep roots in an agricultural system focused on increasing production of commodities with disregard for their full social costs. Further, excessive fertilizer use is integral to production systems that have disconnected crop and livestock production to the extent that manure is a waste product, which further creates environmental problems. In order to address the environmental and social problems associated with industrial agriculture, it will be necessary to bring market prices closer to true social costs, thereby eliminating overproduction of commodity grains and oilseeds, and to promote more diverse agricultural landscapes.

Section
Discussions and interventions
Published
Jan 12, 2021
How to Cite
Secchi, S. (2021). The political economy of unsustainable lock-ins in North American commodity agriculture: a path forward – Response to Struckman. Nordia Geographical Publications, 49(5), 107-111. https://doi.org/10.30671/nordia.100176