Arable land

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[[File:040719 172 dorset marnhull2.jpg|upright=1.25|thumb|Modern mechanised 3rd ed. "arable, adj. and n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2013.</ref> Alternatively, for the purposes of agricultural statistics, [1] the term often has a more precise definition: "Arable land is the land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow (less than five years). The abandoned land resulting from shifting cultivation is not included in this category. Data for 'Arable land' are not meant to indicate the amount of land that is potentially cultivable." [2] A more concise definition appearing in the Eurostat glossary similarly refers to actual rather than potential uses: "land worked (ploughed or tilled) regularly, generally under a system of crop rotation". [3]

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Non-arable land can sometimes be converted to arable land through methods such as loosening and tilling (breaking up) of the soil, though in more extreme cases the degree of modification required to make certain types of land arable can be prohibitively expensive. [4] In Britain, arable land has traditionally been contrasted with pasturable land such as heaths, which could be used for sheep-rearing but not as farmland.

Arable land area

World map of arable land, percentage by country (2006) Arable land percent world.png
World map of arable land, percentage by country (2006)
Global agricultural area from 1600 to 2016 Agricultural area over the long-term, OWID.svg
Global agricultural area from 1600 to 2016

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in the year 2013, the world's arable land amounted to 1,407 million hectares, out of a total of 4,924 million hectares of land used for agriculture. [6]

Arable land area (1000 km2) [7] [8]
RankCountry or region200820092010201120122015
  World 13,86613,87313,88013,96213,958
1Flag of India.svg  India 1,5791,5781,5751,5741,5621,597
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1,6311,6051,5981,6021,5511,522
3Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1,2161,2181,2001,2151,197
Flag of Europe.svg  European Union 1,0911,0891,0741,0741,083
4Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 1,0861,1001,1141,1161,065
5Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 702704703719726
6Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 440475426477471
7Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 443438434430459
8Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 351338372380392
9Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 370340360360350
10Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 325325325325325

Arable land (hectares per person)

Fields in the region of Zahorie in Western Slovakia Chvojnica hills near Unin.jpg
Fields in the region of Záhorie in Western Slovakia
A field of sunflowers in Cardejon, Spain Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de La Blanca, Cardejon, Espana, 2012-09-01, DD 02.JPG
A field of sunflowers in Cardejón, Spain
Arable land (hectares per person) [7]
Country Name2013
Afghanistan0.254
Albania0.213
Algeria0.196
American Samoa0.054
Andorra0.038
Angola0.209
Antigua and Barbuda0.044
Argentina0.933
Armenia0.150
Aruba0.019
Australia1.999
Austria0.160
Azerbaijan0.204
Bahamas, The0.021
Bahrain0.001
Bangladesh0.049
Barbados0.039
Belarus0.589
Belgium0.073
Belize0.227
Benin0.262
Bermuda0.005
Bhutan0.133
Bolivia0.427
Bosnia and Herzegovina0.264
Botswana0.125
Brazil0.372
British Virgin Islands0.034
Brunei Darussalam0.012
Bulgaria0.479
Burkina Faso0.363
Burundi0.115
Cabo Verde0.108
Cambodia0.275
Cameroon0.279
Canada1.306
Cayman Islands0.003
Central African Republic0.382
Chad0.373
Channel Islands0.026
Chile0.074
China0.078
Colombia0.036
Comoros0.086
Congo, Dem. Rep.0.098
Congo, Rep.0.125
Costa Rica0.049
Côte d'Ivoire0.134
Croatia0.206
Cuba0.278
Curaçao
Cyprus0.070
Czech Republic0.299
Denmark0.429
Djibouti0.002
Dominica0.083
Dominican Republic0.078
Ecuador0.076
Egypt, Arab Rep.0.031
El Salvador0.120
Equatorial Guinea0.151
Eritrea
Estonia0.480
Ethiopia0.160
Faroe Islands0.062
Fiji0.187
Finland0.409
France0.277
French Polynesia0.009
Gabon0.197
Gambia, The0.236
Georgia0.119
Germany0.145
Ghana0.180
Gibraltar
Greece0.232
Greenland0.016
Grenada0.028
Guam0.006
Guatemala0.064
Guinea0.259
Guinea-Bissau0.171
Guyana0.552
Haiti0.103
Honduras0.130
Hong Kong SAR, China0.000
Hungary0.445
Iceland0.374
India0.123
Indonesia0.094
Iran, Islamic Rep.0.193
Iraq0.147
Ireland0.242
Isle of Man0.253
Israel0.035
Italy0.113
Jamaica0.044
Japan0.033
Jordan0.032
Kazakhstan1.726
Kenya0.133
Kiribati0.018
Korea, Dem. People's Rep.0.094
Korea, Rep.0.030
Kosovo
Kuwait0.003
Kyrgyz Republic0.223
Lao PDR0.226
Latvia0.600
Lebanon0.025
Lesotho0.119
Liberia0.116
Libya0.274
Liechtenstein0.070
Lithuania0.774
Luxembourg0.115
Macao SAR, China
Macedonia, FYR0.199
Madagascar0.153
Malawi0.235
Malaysia0.032
Maldives0.010
Mali0.386
Malta0.021
Marshall Islands0.038
Mauritania0.116
Mauritius0.060
Mexico0.186
Micronesia, Fed. Sts.0.019
Moldova0.510
Monaco
Mongolia0.198
Montenegro0.013
Morocco0.240
Mozambique0.213
Myanmar0.203
Namibia0.341
Nauru
Nepal0.076
Netherlands0.062
New Caledonia0.024
New Zealand0.123
Nicaragua0.253
Niger0.866
Nigeria0.197
Northern Mariana Islands0.019
Norway0.159
Oman0.010
Pakistan0.168
Palau0.048
Panama0.148
Papua New Guinea0.041
Paraguay0.696
Peru0.136
Philippines0.057
Poland0.284
Portugal0.107
Puerto Rico0.017
Qatar0.007
Romania0.438
Russian Federation0.852
Rwanda0.107
Samoa0.042
San Marino0.032
São Tomé and Príncipe0.048
Saudi Arabia0.102
Senegal0.229
Serbia0.460
Seychelles0.001
Sierra Leone0.256
Singapore0.000
Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
Slovak Republic0.258
Slovenia0.085
Solomon Islands0.036
Somalia0.107
South Africa0.235
South Sudan
Spain0.270
Sri Lanka0.063
St. Kitts and Nevis0.092
St. Lucia0.016
St. Martin (French part)
St. Vincent and the Grenadines0.046
Sudan0.345
Suriname0.112
Swaziland0.140
Sweden0.270
Switzerland0.050
Syrian Arab Republic0.241
Tajikistan0.106
Tanzania0.269
Thailand0.249
Timor-Leste0.131
Togo0.382
Tonga0.152
Trinidad and Tobago0.019
Tunisia0.262
Turkey0.270
Turkmenistan0.370
Turks and Caicos Islands0.030
Tuvalu
Uganda0.189
Ukraine0.715
United Arab Emirates0.004
United Kingdom0.098
United States0.480
Uruguay0.682
Uzbekistan0.145
Vanuatu0.079
Venezuela, RB0.089
Vietnam0.071
Virgin Islands (U.S.)0.010
West Bank and Gaza0.011
Yemen, Rep.0.049
Zambia0.243
Zimbabwe0.268

Non-arable land

Water buffalo ploughing rice fields near Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia KerbauJawa.jpg
Water buffalo ploughing rice fields near Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia
A pasture in the East Riding of Yorkshire in England Beverley Minster from West Pasture.jpg
A pasture in the East Riding of Yorkshire in England

Agricultural land that is not arable according to the FAO definition above includes:

Other non-arable land includes land that is not suitable for any agricultural use. Land that is not arable, in the sense of lacking capability or suitability for cultivation for crop production, has one or more limitations – a lack of sufficient fresh water for irrigation, stoniness, steepness, adverse climate, excessive wetness with impracticality of drainage, and/or excessive salts, among others. [9] Although such limitations may preclude cultivation, and some will in some cases preclude any agricultural use, large areas unsuitable for cultivation may still be agriculturally productive. For example, US NRCS statistics indicate that about 59 percent of US non-federal pasture and unforested rangeland is unsuitable for cultivation, yet such land has value for grazing of livestock. [10] In British Columbia, Canada, 41 percent of the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve area is unsuitable for production of cultivated crops, but is suitable for uncultivated production of forage usable by grazing livestock. [11] Similar examples can be found in many rangeland areas elsewhere.

Land incapable of being cultivated for production of crops can sometimes be converted to arable land. New arable land makes more food, and can reduce starvation. This outcome also makes a country more self-sufficient and politically independent, because food importation is reduced. Making non-arable land arable often involves digging new irrigation canals and new wells, aqueducts, desalination plants, planting trees for shade in the desert, hydroponics, fertilizer, nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, reverse osmosis water processors, PET film insulation or other insulation against heat and cold, digging ditches and hills for protection against the wind, and installing greenhouses with internal light and heat for protection against the cold outside and to provide light in cloudy areas. Such modifications are often prohibitively expensive. An alternative is the seawater greenhouse, which desalinates water through evaporation and condensation using solar energy as the only energy input. This technology is optimized to grow crops on desert land close to the sea.

(Note: The use of artifices does not make land arable. Rock still remains rock, and shallow less than 6 feet turnable soil is still not considered toilable. The use of artifice is an open-air none recycled water hydroponics relationship.[ clarification needed ] The below described circumstances are not in perspective, have limited duration, and have a tendency to accumulate trace materials in soil that either there or elsewhere cause deoxygenation. The use of vast amounts of fertilizer may have unintended consequences for the environment by devastating rivers, waterways, and river endings through the accumulation of non-degradable toxins and nitrogen-bearing molecules that remove oxygen and cause non-aerobic processes to form.)

Examples of infertile non-arable land being turned into fertile arable land include:

Examples of fertile arable land being turned into infertile land include:

See also

Related Research Articles

Hydroponics growing plants without soil using nutrients in water

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil, by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the nutritious liquid, or the roots may be physically supported by an inert medium such as perlite, gravel, or other substrates. Despite inert media, roots can cause changes of the rhizosphere pH and root exudates can impact the rhizosphere biology.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to agriculture:

Intensive farming Type of agriculture using high inputs to try to get high outputs

Intensive agriculture, also known as intensive farming and industrial agriculture, is a type of agriculture, both of crop plants and of animals, with higher levels of input and output per cubic unit of agricultural land area. It is characterized by a low fallow ratio, higher use of inputs such as capital and labour, and higher crop yields per unit land area.

Sustainable agriculture Farming relying on as much renewable resources as possible

Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways, which means meeting society's present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs. It can be based on an understanding of ecosystem services. There are many methods to increase the sustainability of agriculture. When developing agriculture within sustainable food systems, it is important to develop flexible business process and farming practices.

Rotational grazing System of grazing moving animals between paddocks around the year

In agriculture, rotational grazing, as opposed to continuous grazing, describes many systems of pasturing, whereby livestock are moved to portions of the pasture, called paddocks, while the other portions rest. Each paddock must provide all the needs of the livestock, such as food, water and sometimes shade and shelter. The approach often produces lower outputs than more intensive animal farming operations, but requires lower inputs, and therefore sometimes produces higher net farm income per animal.

Soil fertility the ability of a soil to sustain agricultural plant growth

Soil fertility refers to the ability of soil to sustain agricultural plant growth, i.e. to provide plant habitat and result in sustained and consistent yields of high quality. A fertile soil has the following properties:

Pastoral farming covers the systems of production of articles of bovine, type of animal breeding

Pastoral farming is aimed at producing livestock, rather than growing crops. Examples include dairy farming, raising beef cattle, and raising sheep for wool. In contrast, arable farming concentrates on crops rather than livestock. Finally, Mixed farming incorporates livestock and crops on a single farm. Some mixed farmers grow crops purely as fodder for their livestock; some crop farmers grow fodder and sell and in some cases pastoralists. Pastoral farming is a non-nomadic form of pastoralism in which the livestock farmer has some form of ownership of the land used, giving the farmer more economic incentive to improve the land. Unlike other pastoral systems, pastoral farmers are sedentary and do not change locations in search for fresh resources. Rather, pastoral farmers adjust their pastures to fit the needs of their animals. Improvements include drainage, stock tanks, irrigation and sowing clover.

The Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT) website disseminates statistical data collected and maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAOSTAT data are provided as a time-series from 1961 in most domains for 245 countries in English, Spanish and French.

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Intensive crop farming modern form of farming

Intensive crop farming is a modern form of farming that refers to the industrialized production of crops. Intensive crop farming's methods include innovation in agricultural machinery, farming methods, genetic engineering technology, techniques for achieving economies of scale in production, the creation of new markets for consumption, patent protection of genetic information, and global trade. These methods are widespread in developed nations.

Agriculture in Benin

Benin is predominantly a rural society, and agriculture in Benin supports more than 70% of the population. Agriculture contributes around 35% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and 80% of export income. While the Government of Benin (GOB) aims to diversify its agricultural production, Benin remains underdeveloped, and its economy is underpinned by subsistence agriculture. Approximately 93% of total agricultural production goes into food production. The proportion of the population living in poverty is about 35.2%, with more rural households in poverty (38.4%) than urban households (29.8%). 36% of households depend solely upon agricultural (crop) production for income, and another 30% depend on crop production, livestock, or fishing for income.

Agricultural land land used for agricultural purposes

Agricultural land is typically land devoted to agriculture, the systematic and controlled use of other forms of life—particularly the rearing of livestock and production of crops—to produce food for humans. It is thus generally synonymous with both farmland or cropland, as well as pasture or rangeland.

Agriculture in Armenia

Armenia has 2.1 million hectares of agricultural land, 72% of the country's land area. Most of this, however, is mountain pastures, and cultivable land is 480,000 hectares, or 16% of the country's area. In 2006, 46% of the work force was employed in agriculture, and agriculture contributed 21% of the country's GDP. In 1991 Armenia imported about 65 percent of its food.

Agriculture in Jordan

Agriculture in Jordan contributed substantially to the economy at the time of Jordan's independence, but it subsequently suffered a decades-long steady decline. In the early 1950s, agriculture constituted almost 40 percent of GNP; on the eve of the June 1967 War, it was 17 percent.

Desert greening

Desert greening is the process of man-made reclamation of deserts for ecological reasons (biodiversity), farming and forestry, but also for reclamation of natural water systems and other ecological systems that support life. The term "desert greening" is intended to apply to both cold and hot arid and semi-arid deserts. It does not apply to ice capped or permafrost regions. Desert greening has the potential to help solve global water, energy, and food crises. It pertains to roughly 32 million square kilometres of land.

Soil management is the application of operations, practices, and treatments to protect soil and enhance its performance. It includes soil conservation, soil amendment, and optimal soil health. In agriculture, some amount of soil management is needed both in nonorganic and organic types to prevent agricultural land from becoming poorly productive over decades. Organic farming in particular emphasizes optimal soil management, because it uses soil health as the exclusive or nearly exclusive source of its fertilization and pest control.

Organic hydroponics is a hydroponics culture system which is managed based on organic agriculture concepts. Most studies have focused on use of organic fertilizer. Conventional hydroponics have a difficult time using organic compounds as fertilizer.

Convertible husbandry, also known as alternate husbandry or up-and-down husbandry, is a method of farming whereby strips of arable farmland were temporarily converted into grass pasture, known as leys. These remained under grass for up to 10 years before being ploughed under again, while some eventually became permanent pasturage. It was a process used during the 16th century through the 19th century by "which a higher proportion of land was used to support increasing numbers of livestock in many parts of England." Its adoption was an important component of the British Agricultural Revolution.

Cocoyam is a tuberous root crop cultivated in many regions of South Asia. Cocoyams share many of the same nutritional and agricultural characteristics as potatoes and other root crops such as cassava and yams.

This glossary of agriculture is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in agriculture, its sub-disciplines, and related fields. For other glossaries relevant to agricultural science, see Glossary of biology, Glossary of ecology, and Glossary of botany.

References

  1. The World Bank. Agricultural land (% of land area) http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.AGRI.ZS Archived 17 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  2. FAOSTAT. [Statistical database of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations] Glossary. http://faostat3.fao.org/mes/glossary/E Archived 1 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Eurostat. Glossary: Arable land. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Glossary:Arable_land Archived 7 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Cultivation Archived 20 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine . Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  5. Arable land in this map refers to a definition used by the US CIA – land cultivated for crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each harvest
  6. "FAOSTAT Land Use module". Food and Agriculture Organization. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  7. 1 2 "FAOSTAT Land Use module". Food and Agriculture Organization. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  8. "Arable Land Area". The Helgi Library. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  9. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1961. Land capability classification. Agriculture Handbook 210. 21 pp.
  10. NRCS. 2013. Summary report 2010 national resources inventory. United States Natural Resources Conservation Service. 163 pp.
  11. Agricultural Land Commission. Agriculture Capability and the ALR Fact Sheet. http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/alc/DownloadAsset?assetId=72876D8604EC45279B8D3C1B14428CF8&filename=agriculture_capability__the_alr_fact_sheet_2013.pdf