Here’s How We Use Land In The U.S.

AUGUST 1, 2018         –        By Rhonda Brooks
If we were able to move the bulk of our food production into a condensed space, it would fit roughly into Indiana, Illinois and half of Iowa. That’s according to the six major categories the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses to define land use and reported on by Bloomberg yesterday (put in your browser to read more).
Here are some additional interesting tidbits from the Bloomberg story:
  • 77.3 million acres are used to produce crops that we actually eat. Because nothing defines what those food crops are, that acreage number is a bit suspect to me.
  • USDA says more than one-third of our land is used for pasture—by far the largest land-use type in the contiguous 48 states. Nearly 25 percent of that grazed land—158 million acres—is administered by the federal government. Most of it is in the West, and it can only be grazed if cattlemen pay a fee for it.
  • The USDA categorizes national parks, wildlife areas, highways, railroads and military bases as special-use areas.
  • 3 million U.S. acres are devoted to airports, while 2 million acres are used for golf courses.
  • The 100 largest land-owning families in the U.S. own enough ground that it would fill nearly the entire state of Florida–58,560 square miles.










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