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Farmland Consciousness

Touch the Soil News #739 We’ve all been in cities and watched how the nation’s best farmland was being urbanized. In 1950, the nation’s farmers were working 1,202,000,000 acres (1 billion 202 million acres). In 2017, the nation’s farmers are working only 910 million acres. Primarily due to urbanization, America has 292 million less acres. Of concern and for which there are no numbers, between 1950 and 1980 there were millions of acres of farmland still coming on line. Due to irrigation improvements and access to lands not previously farmed, our best guess estimate is that America has lost another 60 million acres hidden behind the larger overall net loss…

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Checking In With American Farmland Trust

Touch the Soil News #481 The American Farmland Trust (AFT) seeks to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land. At the leading edge of farmland conservation, the AFT posts some interesting facts about farmland in America: Every hour, over 40 acres of U.S. farm and ranch land are lost (960 acres a day). This loss permanently eliminates land necessary to sustain roughly 1,920 people at low meat diets. Due to wind and water erosion, the nation loses 1.7 billion tons of topsoil each year. That is equivalent to watching a train with 1,700,000 rail cars (21 thousand miles long) containing topsoil leaving the farms. Seventy…

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All Cooped Up – The Unnatural Order of Things

Touch the Soil News #442 (feature photo: ProtoplasmaKid / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0) Policy planners and environmentalists loosely agree – humanity’s encroachment on the world’s resources is so dramatic that urban sprawl must be converted to higher density living. WorldWatch Institute (http://www.worldwatch.org/) does a good job at looking at the global social and environmental condition. The Institute recently published a report called: “Can a City Be Sustainable?” From this report, emerges a disturbing number. It is estimated over 8.15 million acres of agricultural land are lost each year due to urbanization. It is numbers like this, that policy makers rally around to justify why people must live in closer…

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Going, Going – Going Where?

Touch the Soil News #304 Every year the USDA puts out a report on the amount of land farmed in America. The peak farmland year for America was 1954 when the nation farmed approximately 1,206,355,000 acres. By 2015, that number had shrunk to 913,000,000 acres – a decline of 293.355.000 acres. Now that is not all of the acres lost as there were millions of acres broken out of sagebrush and put into farming between 1954 and 1975. There are no statistics available on the new acres of farmland that were coming online that were camouflaged by the greater number of farmland acres disappearing. Our best guess conservative estimate is…

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