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Old 06-10-2013, 02:24 AM
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Anyone have the raw numbers on this?

Everyone talks about how much agricultural land we lose to urban development each year but I'd be interested to also see how much new land is cultivated

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:03 AM
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I think another interesting thing to consider is the amount of farmland that gets abandoned each year because it can't produce the yields that the big agribusiness companies want and can't attract an Amish community or sustainable community/hippie commune/ecovillage. This is especially true in hilly places with little topsoil like Kentucky and West Virginia. I would hesitate to use the USDA's statistics on agricultural land usage because they have very interesting definitions of what is and isn't agricultural land, that other people would consider the exact opposite. For example, the USDA considers there to be hundreds of farms in Cuyahoga County, Ohio which consists of Cleveland and many of its suburbs. They do this because apparently people who grow over $1,000 worth of legal plants are considered to be farmers by their definition, and so many people who grow expensive flowers, or any florist counts.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:30 AM
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Monmouth County, New Jersey is an agrarian lover's nightmare. Between 1965 and 2012 it has lost so much of its' historic charm for cookie cutter communities.

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Old 06-11-2013, 12:01 PM
Location: Victoria TX
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Much of the "new land" is land that was historically considered to be non-arable, and was converted to agricultural through the extensive use of irrigation. Since 1970, the amount of irrigated cropland has grown from 4- to 12- million acres in eastern states, and from 35- to 45-million acres in western states. Some of this is irrigated as a hedge against drought, but most is newly broken land that was not previously regarded as agriculturally productive. Most of the increase occurred during the 1970s.

Most "agricultural land" in the US is no longer agricultural in any sense except that it accessible by farm machinery and the sun shines on it. If crops are planted in most US fields, with no chemical fertilizers added, they will not grow at all. The topsoil contain no natural nutrients.

The price of farmland in the mid-section has gone up 15-30% in the past year, with Chinese buyers being the big investors, especially land in cold climates.
So there is a strong economic incentive to convert land to agricultural.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-11-2013 at 12:18 PM..
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