YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
The U.S. land puzzle
By Gary Joiner
Farms, cities, forests and pastures are intertwined in America, a country with 1.9 billion acres in the 48 contiguous states.
But how is that land divided?
About a fifth of U.S. land is used for agricultural production, and more than one-third is used for pasture.
Parks and wilderness areas make up about 100 million acres, while forests and timberland are about a quarter of the contiguous U.S.
What about urban areas? They make up just 3.6 percent of the total size, but the U.S. is becoming increasingly more urban. A surging population gobbles up 1 million acres, on average, each year.
And urban areas have more than quadrupled since 1945.
America’s land use is diverse, which helps us sustain ourselves. But private land is necessary and important for water conservation, growing food and maintaining wildlife habitat.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
You may read this week’s editorial above or listen to the audio version.
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