The population growth in America Essay
The population growth in America, 499 words essay example
The population growth in America has had a huge impact on food availability in the world. As the population continues to grow in America, cities are sprawling into our rural agricultural areas. Many small farmers and large farmers are taking the huge amounts of money being offered by developers and are retiring. While this is great news for the farmer, it leaves us with less farm land, so less food.
As our population increases and spreads across the country the amount of viable farm land in counties close to densely populated areas declines. Between 1982 and 1997, the pace of change accelerated, with the amount of farmland decreasing by over 10%, from 421 million acres to 377 million acres. Of the 400+ million acres of farm land that is currently in production, more than one million acres per year will be lost due to urban development. During this same period of time urban developed land increased from 73 million acres to 98 million acres which is an increase of 34%. (http//cgge.aag.org/PopulationandNaturalResources1e/CS_US_July09/CS_US_July092.html)
At our current rate of growth of 1.1% per year, the population in America will double in the next 60 years to 560 million people. That will be an additional 3 million people added per year. Since 99.5% of American food is harvested from the land and less than .5% is from aquatic systems, this increase in population will also increase our needs for food.
In poorer countries with limited amounts of water and land, their ability to meet the basic needs of the populace is difficult. Historically bulk commodities such as rice, oilseeds, wheat, tobacco and cotton have accounted for the majority of the US agriculture exports. In the 1990's this trend changed with the US exports now including vegetable oils, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, live animals, poultry and beverages all showing steady growth. Bulk exports began to fluctuate more widely in response to global prices and supplies. The main export destinations for US agriculture commodities are China, Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe.
If basic needs cannot be met, development stalls and economies begin to unravel. In some poor countries, attempts to increase food production and consumption are undermined by rapid population growth migration from rural to urban areas unequal land distribution shrinking landholdings deepening rural poverty and widespread land degradation. Lower birth rates, along with better management of land and water resources, are necessary to avert chronic food shortages.
Along with America's population growth, America has been the leader in the utilization of technology to increase agricultural production. As America's agricultural practices have resulted in higher and higher yields, the world has learned from these improvements, and by embracing these practices, dramatic improvements in foreign production have been noted. While these improvements have lessened these countries reliance on American production, American agriculture products are still needed to feed the world. Because of this need, the increased population in America and our needs for food products, can directly affect the necessary supplies to continue to support foreign countries needs.