How to reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture


Decreasing the demand for agricultural land: • Eating lower on the food chain would reduce the amount of land needed to raise livestock. • Curbing population growth via programs that lessen the need/desire for people to have children would reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture.

Decreasing the demand for agricultural land: • Eating lower on the food chain would reduce the amount of land needed to raise livestock. Curbing population growth via programs that lessen the need/desire for people to have children would reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture.


How can we reduce the need for agricultural land?

 · This large reduction of agricultural land use would be possible thanks to a reduction in land used for grazing and a smaller need for land to grow crops. The research also shows that cutting out beef and dairy (by substituting chicken, eggs, fish or plant-based food) has a much larger impact than eliminating chicken or fish.

Why is the loss of agricultural land a problem?

Now, more than ever, it’s important to employ property tax reducing strategies to offset the higher property values. One way to do this on vacant raw land is to have the land legally deemed as Open Space (1-d-1) or Ag-use (1-d), as described in the Texas Constitution in …

Can a plant-based diet reduce global land use for agriculture?

Decreasing the demand for agricultural land: • Eating lower on the food chain would reduce the amount of land needed to raise livestock. • Curbing population growth via programs that lessen the need/desire for people to have children would reduce the …

How much agricultural land is lost to urban development each year?

 · 4 Best Management Practices for Agricultural Nutrients. 5 Transforming Drainage. 6 Conservation Drainage for the Midwest. 7 Cover Crops – Keeping Soil in Place While Providing Other Benefits. 8 Research shows perennials would reduce nutrient runoff to the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone. 9 Buffers and Vegetative Filter Strips. 10 Conservation tillage


How can we reduce agricultural land use?

Opportunities to reduce agricultural emissions include reducing fertilizer inputs, adjusting livestock feed to reduce emissions from digestive systems, and capturing methane emissions from manure. In addition, improved soil management can increase the sequestration of carbon in agricultural soils.

How can we reduce land use?

5 Ways to Make Food Production and Land Use More Earth-FriendlyAvoid deforestation and close the forest frontier. … Increase agricultural productivity. … Restore forests and landscapes. … Reduce food loss and waste. … Improve diets.

Why is agricultural land decreasing?

The underlying causes of farmland loss in California are rapid population growth and the inefficient use of land. Since 1990, urban development has consumed an acre of land for every 9.4 people statewide. In the San Joaquin Valley, the rate was an acre for every 8 people.

How much of 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.

How can we improve agricultural land?

The introduction of modern inputs, such as fertilizers and seeds, can radically improve land use – the increased yields obtained allow farmers to adopt more appropriate farming techniques that protect tire soil better and put new heart into the land. Land degredation rates then reduce.

How can farming be improved on land?

Best Yield Yet: 5 Steps to Take to Nourish Your FarmlandEstablish a shared understanding of what makes for “healthy soil” … Decide what tillage practices are best for your farm. … Establish or diversify your crop rotation. … Use cover crops that maintain living roots year-round. … Manage your soil’s health and nutrition.

How can we solve agricultural problems?

Below are the top solutions to the Problems of Agriculture: Provision of Adequate Education to Farmers. … Provision Large Area of Land to Farmers. … Reducing of the Cost Farmer Inputs to Farmers. … Encouragement of the Gender and Age in Farming Sector. … Farmers should be Encourage to Join Co-operative Society.More items…•

What is the biggest problem in agriculture?

One of the biggest biosecurity problems in the farming history is the infection of the flock of birds or herd of animals. Biosecurity will provide resistance to the environment. They will give antibiotics and immunizations to prevent the animals from being infected. The ultimate procedure is to disinfect.

What are problems facing agriculture?

Soil quality, water quality, climate, and terrain are just a few of the environmental issues that may impact profits and productivity for farmers in any given growing season.

Why land is important for agriculture?

Agricultural land provides the largest share of food supplies and ensures an essential number of ecosystem services (e.g., providing food, fuel, fibre) (Pereira et al., 2018; Scown et al., 2019; Stephens et al., 2018).

Which country has no agriculture land?

According to a recent World Bank report, the countries with the smallest percentages of land used for agriculture today include Suriname, Greenland, Singapore, the Bahamas, the Seychelles, and Norway.

What are the uses of land in agriculture?

This include land for;Crop production.Livestock production and fisheries.Forestry.Wildlife conservation.

What is the land used for agriculture?

Half of the world’s ice- and desert-free land is used for agriculture. Most of this is for raising livestock – the land requirements of meat and dairy production are equivalent to an area the size of the Americas, spanning all the way from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The land use of livestock is so large because it takes around 100 times as much …

Why is land use so large?

The land use of livestock is so large because it takes around 100 times as much land to produce a kilocalorie of beef or lamb versus plant-based alternatives. This is shown in the chart. 1 The same is also true for protein – it takes almost 100 times as much land to produce a gram of protein from beef or lamb, versus peas or tofu. …

Can we grow enough food on the cropland?

One concern is whether we would be able to grow enough food for everyone on the cropland that is left. The research suggests that it’s possible to feed everyone in the world a nutritious diet on existing croplands, but only if we saw a widespread shift towards plant-based diets.

How many farms are there in the world?

This meta-analysis looked at the environmental impacts of foods covering 38,7000 farms in 119 countries. For some foods there is significant variability from the median land use depending on how it is produced. We look at these differences here.

How much land would be lost if the world became vegan?

In the hypothetical scenario in which the entire world adopted a vegan diet the researchers estimate that our total agricultural land use would shrink from 4.1 billion hectares to 1 billion hectares. A reduction of 75%. That’s equal to an area the size of North America and Brazil combined.

What would happen if the world population ate less meat and dairy?

If the world population ate less meat and dairy we would be eating more crops. The consequence – as the following bar chart shows – would be that the ‘human food’ component of cropland would increase while the land area used for animal feed would shrink. 6

Can cows be raised on pasture?

Of course the type of land used to raise cows or sheep is not the same as cropland for cereals, potatoes or beans. Livestock can be raised on pasture grasslands, or on steep hills where it is not possible to grow crops. Two-thirds of pastures are unsuitable for growing crops. 2.

What are farmers learning in Nepal?

Farmers in Nepal are learning how to produce crops more sustainably and efficiently. DIVYA PANDEY/IFPRI

Why did the EU regulate fertilizer?

The European Union began regulating fertilizer use 25 years ago, to reduce farm runoff that was polluting groundwater and turning water bodies hypoxic. The EU’s Nitrates Directive led to a 30 percent reduction in fertilizer use, even as yields were increasing substantially.

Who is the farmer who has worked in Africa for the past 30 years?

Giller , who has worked on agricultural issues in Africa for the past 30 years, says that new technologies often “sound fantastic.” But the companies promoting them “are really not thinking about the context of the farmer.” They’re often geared to a yield-per-acre mindset, when yield-per-workday might be more appropriate, given that farmers in the developing world must often piece together a living here and there from multiple sources.

Is intensification possible in the United States?

That kind of intensification — more production with fewer impacts — is certainly also possible in the United States. University of Minnesota ecologist G. David Tilman cited, by way of example, multiple studies showing that farmers could get the same yield with substantially less fertilizer, if they were willing to time applications more precisely to the needs of the crop. The pressure to cut fertilizer use is especially urgent in the Mississippi River Valley, where agricultural runoff has created the world’s second largest ocean “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

Does fertilizer need to be increased?

Even as fertilizer use needs to decrease in the industrial world, sustainable intensification advocates argue that it must increase dramatically in the developing world, where there is a stark choice between intensification and extensification. That is, if a farmer’s land yields only a quarter of what it takes to feed the family, one possible fix is to apply more fertilizer, or plant legumes to deliver a crop that also adds nitrogen to the soil. What often happens instead, though, is that the farmer just clears four or five times as much land.

What is a farmer’s guide to agriculture and water quality issues?

A Farmer’s Guide To Agriculture and Water Quality Issues – Wetlands and Riparian Protection an educational resource for agricultural producers and agricultural service professionals

What is agricultural operations?

Agricultural operations sometimes involve activities that are regulated by laws designed to protect water supplies, threatened or endangered plants and animals, or wetland areas. Click on the topics below for information about land use restrictions and incentive programs that could affect your business.

What is a plant in agriculture?

plants an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland that was converted by drainage, dredging, leveling, or any other means

Why are wetland areas so diverse?

Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance.

Why are wetland ecosystems important?

Wetlands are also economic drivers because of their key role in fishing, hunting, agriculture and recreation.

What is a conservation easement?

Land use / land acquisition. Purchased land or conservation easements can serve as a protection zone near the drinking water source. Public water systems are eligible for loans from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for this purpose.

How does the Swampbuster program help wetlands?

Similar to the Section 404 program, the Swampbuster program generally allows the continuation of most farming practices so long as wetlands are not converted or wetland drainage increased.

How much is land taxed without an ag?

Without an Ag-use or open space use, this land would normally be taxed at $1.67 x $150,000 (the appraised value in this example) resulting in a property tax bill of $2,505.

How many acres are required for a 1D1 ag?

If the tract had Wildlife Management use in the previous year, and meets the minimum 10 acres for Ag Exemption, then the new owner can continue using Wildlife Management use but a new 1D1 Ag Application must be submitted along with a Wildlife Management Plan. The Wildlife Management Plan can be on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Form 885, or can be a self-written plan, but it must include three out of the seven wildlife practices listed above with a list of targeted wildlife species.

How many acres are required for wildlife management?

If the new owner has subdivided the land out of a larger tract, then the tract must be a minimum of 16 acres to qualify as Wildlife Management Use. The new owner can wait one year under ag exemption, and then switch to Wildlife Management use.

How to propagate a sustaining breeding, migrating, or wintering population of indigenous wild animals for human

Erosion control. Predator control.

How many acres are required for an Ag exemption?

For an existing land owner that has never received an “Ag Exemption”, the land must measure at least 10 acres, must be currently devoted principally to agriculture use to the generally accepted standards for the county, and must have established agricultural use for five out of the preceding seven years. An ag application must be filed with the district with the Chief Appraiser before ag is granted or denied (PCTS Sec. 23.54. Application)

How many hives are needed for a 15 acre farm?

15 – 16 acres – must have 10 hives or nesting boxes. 17 – 18 acres – must have 11 hives or nesting boxes. 19 – 20 acres – must have 12 hives or nesting boxes. How to Qualify for Wildlife Management Use for an Open-Space Agricultural Valuation to Reduce Your Property Taxes in Texas.

When does the Appraisal District have to send an application to continue the Ag exemption?

Once the property transfers to the new owner (s), the Appraisal District must send them an application to continue the ag exemption. If the property is bought after January 1 in which the previous ag exemption is in place, the new owner will keep the benefit of the ag exemption for that tax year.

How can farmers improve nutrient management practices?

Adopting Nutrient Management Techniques: Farmers can improve nutrient management practices by applying nutrients (fertilizer and manure) in the right amount, at the right time of year , with the right method and with the right placement. 3,4.

How can conservation tillage help the environment?

Implementing Conservation Tillage: Farmers can reduce how often and how intensely the fields are tilled. Doing so can help to improve soil health, and reduce erosion, runoff and soil compaction, and therefore the chance of nutrients reaching waterways through runoff. 10

Why is it important to engage in watershed efforts?

Engaging in Watershed Efforts: The collaboration of a wide range of people, stakeholders and organizations across an entire watershed is vital to reducing nutrient pollution to our water and air. Farmers can play an important leadership role in these efforts when they get involved and engage with their State governments, farm organizations, conservation groups, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and community groups.

Why are buffers important in fields?

Planting Field Buffers: Farmers can plant trees, shrubs and grasses along the edges of fields; this is especially important for a field that borders water bodies. Planted buffers can help prevent nutrient loss from fields by absorbing or filtering out nutrients before they reach a water body. 9.

What is conservation drainage?

Using Conservation Drainage Practices: Subsurface tile drainage is an important practice to manage water movement on and through many soils, typically in the Midwest. Drainage water can carry soluble forms of nitrogen and phosphorus, so strategies are needed to reduce nutrient loads while maintaining adequate drainage for crop production. Conservation drainage describes practices including modifying drainage system design and operation, woodchip bioreactors, saturated buffers, and modifications to the drainage ditch system. 5,6

What happens to fish in eutrophication?

Eutrophication can lead to hypoxia (“dead zones”), causing fish kills and a decrease in aquatic life. Excess nutrients can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs) in freshwater systems, which not only disrupt wildlife but can also produce toxins harmful to humans.

What nutrients do farmers use to grow food?

Farmers apply nutrients on their fields in the form of chemical fertilizers and animal manure, which provide crops with the nitrogen and phosphorus necessary to grow and produce the food we eat. However, when nitrogen and phosphorus are not fully utilized by the growing plants, they can be lost from the farm fields and negatively impact air …

Why is land loss important?

This loss of land is a large issue for agriculture, because it will make it more difficult to produce enough food.

Why is it important that scientists and farmers work to save the land currently used for agriculture?

Due to these problems in agriculture, it is critical that scientists and farmers work to save the land currently used for agriculture while making improvements to production methods that increase variety and make it possible to produce more food on less land. Learning Outcome.

Why is agriculture important?

Although agriculture is very important and must be maintained, there are two main issues that may influence the success of future agriculture: loss of agricultura l land and the decrease in the varieties of crops and livestock produced.

Why is monoculture cheaper?

For crops, if farmers plant monocultures, which are when a single crop is planted on a large scale, the production is cheaper because the entire process of planting, growing, and harvesting is more streamlined. It is estimated that there are over 50,000 plant species that can be safely consumed by humans.

How much land has been lost in the last 30 years?

In the United States, around 140 million hectares of agricultural land has been lost in the last 30 years as a result of soil degradation and conversion for urban use. The trends in the loss of agricultural lands do not look promising for the future of agriculture in the United States.

What are the problems of agriculture?

One of the major problems facing agriculture is the loss of agricultural land, because as more land is lost, it will become more difficult to produce the amount of food needed to feed the growing human population. When discussing the area of land, the term hectare is often used, and this term is a unit of area that is equivalent to 10,000 square …

Why is agriculture in jeopardy?

Two of the most major problems in agriculture are the loss of agricultural land and the decrease in the varieties of crops and livestock produced.

How long does it take for a farmland to be converted to non-agricultural use?

For example, the State of New York warns residents of the following: “If farmland that has received an agricultural assessment is converted to a nonagricultural use (within five years of last receiving an agricultural assessment if located in an agricultural district and within eight years if located outside an agricultural district), a payment to recapture the taxes forgone for converting such land will be imposed.”

Why are there different sizes of agricultural property tax exemptions?

The size of agricultural property tax exemptions varies from state to state because property taxes aren’t administered at the federal level. Qualifications for agricultural tax exemptions vary from state to state, too. Some states base eligibility on the size of the property, while others set a minimum dollar amount for agricultural sales of goods produced on the property. Many use a combination of gross sales and acreage requirements. Grazing a single cow on your property can be enough to trigger series tax breaks in some places.

Can you take your land out of agricultural use?

Keep in mind that taking your land out of agricultural use can result in a bill for back taxes. So if you decide you no longer want to rent your land to a farmer or grow veggies on your acre age, the state may require that you pay back the taxes that were exempted in previous years.

Do you have to do the work yourself to get a farm tax exemption?

You don’t necessarily have to do the work yourself to claim the exemption for your property. You may, however, have to renew your application for a farm assessment each year, depending on your local tax assessor’s rules and on state requirements.

Can you get a tax break for grazing a cow?

Grazing a single cow on your property can be enough to trigger series tax breaks in some places. If you qualify, an agricultural tax exemption could knock thousands off your property tax bill. Depending on your state’s rules, one way to execute this tax strategy is to offer use of your land to a local farmer.

Can you get a tax break for farming?

If you can prove that you farm as a business and not just for recreation, you can get both property tax breaks and income tax breaks. But you don’t have to be a full-time farmer to take advantage of agricultural tax breaks that will help you with your property taxes. In some cases, all you need is a piece of land that’s not currently being used.

Can you get property tax breaks if you are a farmer?

Agricultural Taxes: The Basics. If you’re a farmer, you’re no doubt familiar with the complicated tax landscape for farmers in this country and you may even use a tax accountant to help you get as many tax breaks as you’re eligible for. If you can prove that you farm as a business and not just for recreation, you can get both property tax breaks …

What is the challenge of GM crops?

To meet the challenge of improving yields requires a constant commitment to generating a steady supply of improved cultivars and lines for all major crops. Conventional breeding cannot keep pace with what is required; to meet the targets biotechnology and the production of genetically-modified (GM) crops is filling the gap. However, there are still concerns as to the safety of GM crops for human consumption and the environment. In this review I explore the need for GM crops, the way they are produced, and their impact and safety.

Why are people against GMOs?

The reasons for this opposition are complex and multifaceted, but from what is articulated and communicated by those who oppose GMOs, they are based on the perception that such crops pose an unacceptable risk to both human health and the environment. Such sentiment exists even though there have been no adverse health or environmental affects from the almost four billion acres of GMO crops grown since their introduction in 1996. Several National Research Council committees and European Commissions (as well as joint commissions) have concluded that with the extensive scientific inquiry into the safety issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops, genetic engineering using biotechnology is no different from conventional breeding in terms of unintended consequences to the environment or animal and human health. 33 The European Commission funded more 50 research programs from 2001–2010 to address concerns regarding the use of GM crops to reach this same determination. 34 Nicolia et al. 24 constructed a database of 1,783 scientific original research papers, reviews, relevant opinion articles, and reports published between 2002 and October of 2010 on GMO safety issues, and reviewed the contents to generate a comprehensive overview of the accumulated knowledge. The overall conclusion of this mammoth undertaking was that “the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GM crops.

Is it safe to use GM crops?

This allowed government agencies worldwide to conclude that Bt GM crops are as safe for both human and animal consumption as well as the environment as conventional/organic crops that have been sprayed with the CRY protein or bacterial preparations. 33 In fact, because the Bt GM crop only delivers the CRY toxin to those insects that eat the crop, whether directly or in crop residue, it was considered less likely to cause environmental issues than spraying or dusting plants with the toxin or bacterial preparations. Nevertheless, as with herbicide-tolerant GM crops, concerns remain and for Bt GM crops these relate to the development of Bt-resistant insects, transgene transfer (gene flow) to wild relatives or non-GMO crops close by and environmental/ecological concerns that relate to biodiversity.

How does GM affect biodiversity?

The adoption of GM herbicide tolerant crops does alter the biodiversity of plant populations (weeds) in agricultural ecosystems and some of the insects and other organisms that rely upon them but this is related to weed management and herbicide use not the GM crop. Alterations in biodiversity also occur in conventional agriculture where weed management strategies are employed. 48 Nevertheless there is great deal of evidence that the adoption of GM herbicide tolerant crops has had a beneficial impact on the environment. The conversion of natural habitat and ecosystems to urban development and agriculture is clearly the most detrimental aspect of human activity as it relates to environmental impact and loss of biodiversity. As yields increase with the adoption of GM crops, as discussed previously, the need to dedicate land for agriculture decreases. Apart from the reduced conversion of land to agricultural use the emergence of GM herbicide tolerant crops has accelerated and enabled the adoption of conservative tillage (no-till and reduced-till) practices. 30, 45, 48 Such practices enhance soil quality, reduce water run-off, conserves nutrients, increases water infiltration, and contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

Is GM crop production good?

GM crop production is a vital tool in the “agricultural toolbox” and along with advances in the development of the new genomics based genetic technologies that improve conventional crop production it may be realistic to expect to meet the aforementioned lofty goals. Organic crop production technologies, although generally delivering lower yields than conventional crops, 32 have an important role in yield improvement and stability efforts in areas where these technologies are optimal. To abandon any one of these efforts would be unwise and potentially catastrophic, especially without sound scientific reason, as agricultural production systems are complex and changing, more so now than ever before, as global climate change alters the “farming landscape.”


Dredge and Fill Activities


  • Wetlands feed downstream waters, trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution, and provide fish and wildlife habitat. Wetlands are also economic drivers because of their key role in fishing, hunting, agriculture and recreation. For regulatory purposes under the Clean Water Act, the term wetlands means: “those areas that are inundated or saturated by surfa…

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Water Use

  • According to United States Geological Survey (USGS) water use data, agricultural irrigation accounts for approximately one-third of all water withdrawn in the U.S. on a daily basis. As a major water consumer, agriculture practices play a significant role in the availability and cleanliness of a region’s water supply for the ecosystems, towns, and individuals that depend o…

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Source Water and Well Head Protection

  • Land use / land acquisition
    Purchased land or conservation easements can serve as a protection zone near the drinking water source. Public water systems are eligible for loans from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for this purpose. Local land trusts, community groups, or others should work cooperatively with l…

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Endangered Species Protection

  • The goal of EPA’s Endangered Species Protection Program (ESPP) is to carry out EPA’s responsibilities under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act in compliance with the Endangered Species Act, without placing unnecessary burden on agriculture and other pesticide users.

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