HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bloomberg News did a beautiful series of land use charts and maps. The largest chunk of the 48 contiguous states is pasture and range land for livestock.
The next largest is forest. Then cropland. But where is this land, really?
Farms and ranches are pretty much where you thought they were. This includes a whole lot of land federally-owned by leased to ranchers, miners and loggers. This also shows a good example of special use, New York's Adirondack Mountains, mostly off-limits to these other uses. Others are the Everglades and the Nevada Test Range.
Agricultural land takes up about a fifth of the country. But only a fifth of THAT grows food we eat. The rest grows livestock feed, corn for ethanol, and food and grain for exports, which uses way more land than the food we eat. Despite an overall ag trade surplus, we import a third of our fresh fruits and vegetables, mostly from Mexico and Canada.