How much land do we use for agriculture


Globally agricultural land area is approximately five billion hectares, or 38 percent of the global land surface. About one-third of this is used as cropland, while the remaining two-thirds consist of meadows and pastures) for grazing livestock.May 7, 2020

What percent of the Earth is used for agriculture?

 · Agricultural land, forest land and ‘other’ land all make up around the same proportions of the world’s total land uses About 50% of the world’s habitable land is used for …

What are the three resources used in agriculture?

Agricultural land (sq. km) Forest area (% of land area) Rural land area where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total land area) Urban land area where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total land …

How can land be saved for agriculture?

 · Crops grown for food (green) versus for animal feed and fuel (purple) Click to enlarge. ( National Geographic) Just 55% of the world’s crop calories are directly eaten by …

What are the high inputs cost for agriculture?

Current Land Use According to a “National Geographic” report in 2005, 40 percent of the Earth was used for agricultural purposes. Analysis of satellite data included land used for both crops …


How much land does agriculture use?

43 million acresOf California’s approximately 100 million acres of land, 43 million acres are used for agriculture. Of this, 16 million acres are grazing land and 27 million acres are cropland.

What percentage of the world’s land is used for agriculture now?

The Land Area of the World is 13,003 million ha. 4,889 million ha are classified as ‘agricultural area’ by the FAO (this is 37.6% of the Land Area).

How much US land is used for agriculture 2020?

896,600* The farm definition was changed in 1993 to include maple syrup, short rotation woody crops, and places with 5 or more horses….Total area of land in United States farms from 2000 to 2021 (in 1,000 acres)*CharacteristicLand in thousand acres2020896,6002019897,4002018899,5002017900,3709 more rows

Are we running out of farmland?

In the last 20 years, more than 11 million acres of US farmland have been converted, fragmented or paved over by development projects, according to a new report by the American Farmland Trust. Farmland loss near metro areas continues to be a problem across the US.

What percent of land is used by humans?

14.6% of the world’s land area has been modified by humans, according to research. This is equivalent to 18.5 million km², an area greater than Russia. Human impact on the Earth’s surface can take a number of different forms, including cities and towns, to natural systems modification.

What percentage of U.S. land is used for agriculture?

Agricultural land (% of land area) in United States was reported at 44.36 % in 2018, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources.

What percent of U.S. land is used for agriculture 2021?

52 percentAgricultural production is a major use of land, accounting for roughly 52 percent of the U.S. land base.

What percent of land is owned by farmers?

California Farms and Farmers More than one quarter of California’s landmass is used for agriculture. Just over half of the 27.6 million acres of agricultural land is pasture and range and about 40 percent is cropland.

How much land is used for agriculture?

Globally agricultural land area is approximately five billion hectares, or 38 percent of the global land surface. About one-third of this is used as cropland, while the remaining two-thirds consist of meadows and pastures) for grazing livestock.

What is the distribution of agricultural land?

Regional distribution of agricultural land use is a combination of local agri-climatic edaphic – soil –conditions, and socio-economic drivers. Averaged over the decade between 2007 and 2016, the largest share of agricultural land area was in Asia, accounting for 1.6 global hectares (gha) or 34 percent, followed by the Americas (1.2 gha, or 25 percent) and Africa (1.1 gha, 24 percent), with Europe and Oceania representing each about 9-10 percent of the total.

Which country has the most irrigated land?

The two countries with the largest irrigated cropland area were India and China, with about 68 Mha each, followed by the United States (27 Mha), Pakistan (20 Mha) and Iran (9 Mha).

Why is land important for agriculture?

Land – a notion which broadly includes climate, topography, vegetation, soils and other natural resources – is the basis for agriculture, and the interaction between these components is vital for determining the productivity and sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Especially in the face of climate change and variability, selecting the right land uses for given biophysical and socio-economic conditions is essential for minimizing land degradation, rehabilitating degraded land, ensuring the sustainable use of land resources, and maximizing resilience.

Which region has the most land area for irrigation?

In terms of irrigation capacity, the region with the largest land area equipped for irrigation over the past decade was by far Asia, with 237 mega hectares (mha), or 70 percent of the world’s total, followed by the Americas (52 mha, or 16 percent), Europe (26 mha, 8 percent), Africa (15 mha, 5 percent) and Oceania (3 mha, 1 percent).

What is the dominant contributor to dietary land requirements?

The second consideration to note is that, as we have explored above, the dominant contributor to dietary land requirements is livestock rather than crops. Although productivity in livestock farming has increased over the last 50 years, this change has been more modest than gains in crops yields; the meat yield per cattle has increased by approximately one-third since 1961, which is significantly lower than improvements in cereal yields, which have grown more than five-fold across many countries. This increase in animal productivity has also been strongly offset by global meat production which has more than quadrupled over the same period.

What is the relationship between beef consumption and land use?

Here we see a very strong relationship: the more beef we eat, the higher our land use requirement. Such strong correlations are not seen for other meat types, such as pig meat (where there is no clear relationship between intake and land requirements). The key outlier on this plot is New Zealand—its population also has a strong preference for lamb/mutton, which requires a similar amount of land per kilogram of meat as beef does.

Why is what we eat more important than how much we eat?

This means that what we eat is more important than how much we eat in determining the amount of land required to produce our food. As we get richer, our diets tend to diversify and per capita meat consumption rises; economic development unfortunately exerts an increasing impact on land resources.

What would happen if everyone adopted the average diet of the United States?

If everyone were to adopt the average diet of the United States, we would need to convert all of our habitable land to agriculture, and we’d still be 38 percent short. For a New Zealand diet, we’d need almost twice as much habitable land as we have.

What is our world in data?

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics.

Does food affect land use?

Alexander et al. (2016) highlight that the types of foods we eat have a much stronger impact on land use than the quantity alone. The land requirements of different diets tend to be most strongly correlated to a country’s level of per capita meat consumption—and most notably that of ruminants (beef and mutton). 2,3

Can crop and livestock production increase land?

So whilst productivity gains—both in crop and livestock production—could possibly give us more land to utilize for agriculture, population increase and biophysical limits mean such increases are unlikely to change the global map of habitable land requirements.

How many types of land use are there in the US?

The US Department of Agriculture has identified six major types of land use in the US.

What are the major uses of land in the United States?

Major Uses Of Land In The United States. Using the United States as one example of what a country uses it’s land for, pasture/rangeland, forest and cropland are the major land uses in the US across all States, in terms of total acreage. Special use, miscellaneous and urban came in third through sixth.

What percentage of the world’s land is habitable?

According to another source that doesn’t distinguish between habitable land and all land on Earth, they provide the following proportions for the world’s land areas – Other land 31%, Forest area 31%, Meadows and pastures 26%, and Arable land and crops 12%.

What are some examples of habitable land?

Other uses of land might include forests, shrubland, urban development, and fresh water.

What makes up the same proportions of the world’s total land use?

Agricultural land, forest land and ‘other’ land all make up around the same proportions of the world’s total land uses

What is forestland?

Forestland is land that mostly contains trees. Trees can be native, or they can be plantation forests grown for the purpose of producing wood and other materials. There are different types of native forests, such as tropical, temperate, boreal and so on. Land used for forests and trees provides a number of benefits.

What percentage of the Earth’s surface is land?

Most of the Earth’s surface is water (both saltwater, and fresh water bodies) Only about 29% of the total surface of the Earth is land (such as continents and islands) Types Of Land, & Land Uses. Two of the major types of land on Earth are habitable land (that we can live and produce on), and non habitable land (that we can’t live or produce on, …

How can farmers increase agricultural productivity?

Farmers could increase agricultural productivity by boosting crop yields — either through new farming techniques or through improved crop genetics. But even if the rapid rate of improvement in crop yields over the 20th century continued, that still wouldn’t produce enough food for everyone. Another possibility, as the map above shows, is …

How much of the world’s crop calories are eaten by humans?

Just 55% of the world’s crop calories are directly eaten by people. Just 55 percent of the world’s crop calories are actually eaten directly by people. Another 36 percent is used for animal feed. And the remaining 9 percent goes toward biofuels and other industrial uses.

What percentage of soy goes to animal feed?

By contrast, more than 67 percent of crops — particularly all the soy grown in the Midwest — goes to animal feed. And a portion of the rest goes to ethanol and other biofuels. Some of that animal feed eventually becomes food, obviously — but it’s a much, much more indirect process. It takes about 100 calories of grain to produce just 12 calories …

Where did the map of the world come from?

The map itself comes from Jonathan Foley’s fascinating, visually rich exploration in National Geographic of how we can possibly feed everyone as the world’s population grows from 7 billion today to 9 billion by mid-century. (Foley directs the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment .)

What would happen if the world shifted its diet away from resource-intensive meats?

But, alternatively, if the world shifted even a small portion of its diet away from resource-intensive meats or grew fewer biofuels, we could wring more food calories out of existing farmland.

What percentage of the world’s land is used for agriculture?

The following graphic outlines the breakdown of how global land area is used today: As the chart details, 71 percent of our land is considered habitable, and half of that land is used for agriculture. Of that 50 percent, 77 percent is used for livestock, either as land for grazing or land to grow animal feed.

How does animal agriculture affect the world?

Industrialized animal agriculture rules the world’s current food system and is responsible for widespread habitat destruction, including rainforests, harmful air and water pollution, the extinction of species (including those who have yet to even be scientifically identified by humans), and it contributes greatly to climate change, adding more harmful greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere than the entire transportation sector combined. And as this research has detailed, many crops are grown to feed livestock rather than feeding the world’s millions of starving people.

How much is clean meat worth in 2027?

The lab-cultured, aka “ clean meat ” industry, which will hopefully lessen the effects of industrialized animal agriculture, has been making rapid progress in recent years and is expected to reach a value of $20 million by 2027. Advertisement.

How many people will be in the world by 2050?

These factors have led innovators to seek alternatives and solutions to the problem of industrialized animal agriculture, a problem which will only intensify as our planet’s population continues to rise and is predicted to explode to 9.8 billion people by 2050. The lab-cultured, aka “ clean meat ” industry, which will hopefully lessen the effects of industrialized animal agriculture, has been making rapid progress in recent years and is expected to reach a value of $20 million by 2027.

Is animal agriculture using the world’s land?

Extensive research by Our World in Data shows us how the planet’s land is being used, and as one might expect, industrialized animal agriculture is inefficiently using the world’s land.

How much land would cropland take up?

Gathered together, cropland would take up more than a fifth of the 48 contiguous states. Pasture and rangeland would cover most of the Western U.S., and all of the country’s cities and towns would fit neatly in the Northeast.

How much land is used for airports?

land is used. Much of U.S. land serves specific purposes, such as the 2 million acres devoted to golf courses or the 3 million acres for airports.

How many acres are rural lands?

This category does not equally correlate to data in the National Land Cover Database, so Bloomberg subtracted the total of the other miscellaneous components to arrive at a rough estimate of “rural residential lands”—about 50 million acres.

What is the last major category of land categorized by the USDA?

Forestland is the last major category of land categorized by the USDA. Unprotected forests and timberland constitute a quarter of the contiguous U.S.

What percentage of the US land is used for citrus?

More than one-third of U.S. land is used for pasture—by far the largest land-use type in the contiguous 48 states. And nearly 25 percent of that land is administered by the federal government, with most occurring in the West.

Where do most of the fruits and vegetables come from?

More than 30 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables Americans consume come from other countries, predominant ly Mexico and Canada. The amount of U.S. land used to produce citrus fruits alone is larger than Rhode Island.

What is classified as a special use area?

The USDA categorizes national parks, wildlife areas, highways, railroads and military bases as special-use areas. And another USDA land classification—miscellaneous—includes cemeteries, golf courses, marshes, deserts and other areas of “low economic value.”

How much land is ideal for farming?

Just 17% of American land is ideal for farming. We don’t have that much to lose! The amount of the best land lost is about equal to California’s entire Central Valley.

Where is 10% of the world’s arable acres?

10% of the world’s arable acres lie within the United States.

Why is farmland being lost?

And, of course, some of the farmland being lost is for so-called “specialty” crops, like fruits and vegetables. But there are other reasons as well. Development on farmland can have negative effects, removing land that animals use as a habitat. Well-operated farms care for the soil, air, and water, and produce viable ecosystems.

What does it mean when a farmland rating is 0.65?

If farmland has a rating above that – say, 0.65 – that makes it great farmland. Below that, and it’s subpar. Farmland with a high rating is being lost disproportionately quickly, which means suboptimal farmland will have to be used. And suboptimal farmland requires more water, more transportation, more energy, more fertilizers, …

Why is farming so difficult?

The average age of the American farmer was nearly 60 in 2012 (the time of the last census); as those farmers retire or pass away, successive generations turn elsewhere for jobs, the land goes fallow and is sold off. Another reason: it’s sometimes simply worth more to sell farmland rather than actually farm the land, especially if that farmland is near a city or town. “There’s no one to take it over and it’s worth more selling to developers, so why not?” That’s also part of the reason it’s obscenely difficult to find new land for new farmers; land access, according to the National Young Farmers Coalition, is one of the most difficult obstacles for beginning farmers.

Why is farmland less important than food?

This is concerning for a variety of reasons. The obvious one is that farmland produces food, so less farmland means the price of food may rise . The majority of American farmland is devoted to commodity crops – soy, corn, wheat – and many of the uses of those crops are not for direct eating.

What is the most important factor that caused the loss of farmland?

It probably comes as no surprise that the expansion of cities and suburbs are responsible for most of the loss in farmland. But 41% of the lost acres actually came from development in rural areas.


Leave a Comment