New book explores history, future of international agriculture


For more than 100 years, scientists have made the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) a force for international change to improve agriculture. A new book, The International Dimension of the American Society of Agronomy: Past and Future, provides both a historical overview and a glimpse of the future of the world of agronomy.

The contributions of science to agriculture over the last century are impossible to ignore. Despite a fourfold increase in world population and higher economic demand per person, efficiency gains have allowed 3% of the U.S. population to provide basic food needs and still export massive amounts of grain to the rest of the world.
The book features a look forward with viewpoint essays from leading agronomists who prophesize the future of world agronomy in the context of:

  • changing diets
  • food crises
  • biofuels
  • fertilizer trends
  • organic agriculture
  • under-investment in agricultural research

Essays from this new book include historical perspectives from a range of contemporary international issues that agronomists and scientists will need to address in the coming century. The book is published by the American Society of Agronomy.
The book was edited by Bill Payne and John Ryan, both spending major parts of their careers with international agricultural centers and whose mission is to address global poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation. They hope that the book will serve to expand public interest in international agriculture and lead to enhanced funding for research in international agriculture.
The International Dimension of the American Society of Agronomy: Past and Future is 126 pages, softcover, and available from the American Society of Agronomy for $30 at, or call 608-268-4960 or email

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

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