What the world needs most is water – but beer is pretty important too! So water security was one of the issues addressed during a panel at the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues forum last week in San Antonio, and beer was a big part of the discussion.
The panelists included (left to right) Dr. Marco Ugarte with MillerCoors, Gary Beck of Hillside Ranch and Mitchell Baalman of FDK Partnership. They explained that 90 percent of the water needed to make beer is used in crop irrigation and how MillerCoors, The Nature Conservancy and barley farm Hillside Ranch have collaborated to reduce the amount of water used for barley production, resulting in cost savings to the farm and an increase in yield.
Dr. Ugarte and his fellow panelists talked about the need to work with farmers to implement new technology, yield data, planting data and spraying maps to reduce water use. Baalman shared his story of collaborative and voluntary efforts among farmers in his hometown of Hoxie, Kansas. Situated above the High Plains aquifer, which is being depleted six times faster than it is being replenished, the Hoxie-area farmers committed to taking 20 percent less water out of the ground over a five-year period that began last year.
Listen to the panel here: Bayer Ag Issues Water Security Panel
Chuck also interviewed Dr. Ugarte: Interview with Dr. Marco Ugarte, MillerCoors