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Farms are a traditional symbol of the backbone of America.
What’s more, farms provide food necessary to support human life, yet it is being threatened by development and urban sprawl.
Farmers had it rough in the 1700s, when they did all the tilling, planting and harvesting by hand or with the help of oxen or horses.
In later years, grains became a staple of the early American diet. Huge progress was made when the grain harvester was invented in the 1830s, followed by the John Deere Company manufacturing plows in 1837.
The 1870 census shows that nearly half of all Americans were involved in farming.
During this time, farmers grew mainly wheat, barley, corn and other vegetables. They were also known to have livestock ranging from cows to chickens to pigs that they raised for food. Some farmers grew flax, which was used to make linen material for clothes.
How Much Farmland Is There In The US Today?
Fast forward to current times, you reach a point when 40% of land in the US is farmland.
That totals 900.2 million acres.
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Where Is Most Food Grown In The US?
Here is the list of the top agricultural producing states:
But these states and all others are at risk for losing farmland to new development.
This is especially concerning because these states are responsible for producing the highest amount of food consumed by American families each year.
With their close proximity to food processing plants, fewer transportation issues, convenience of buying and repairing farming equipment, and a greater availability of workers, this land is supplies more than 90% of the fruit and 80% of vegetables to feed Americans.
Where the farmland is located is an indicator of how much could be lost to development. Land located on the perimeter of urban centers has the greatest imminent threat of being bought out and turned into new neighborhoods and business centers.
Farms Under Threat
Farmland is diminishing for one clear reason: agricultural land is being destroyed for rural development.
More land isn’t going to show up magically overnight. Especially when you consider that 47% of the US is uninhabitable. That’s right, close to half of the country cannot support human life.
States losing the most acreage to new development are Texas, California and Florida. People flock to these places for many reasons including retirement, jobs and potential tax benefits. This influx of people need places to live and work.