Although the population of the United States more than doubled
between 1910 and 1990,the amount of productive land remained almost stable.
Yet,Americans are far better fed and clothed today than in 1910.
This has been accomplished largely through the wide-spread use of machinery
in agriculture as well as the application of scientific advances and discoveries.
Truks, automobiles and farm labour, making the modern farmer more productive
than his forebears.
Scientists have bred new hybrid plants and animals which yield more food.
New ways have been found for controlling harmful insects, for preserving food,
for packaging, storing and marketing farm products. All together, these improvements
have made the farme's labour so much more productive that he now produced in 1940.
Great progress has been made as well in using the land itself. Through improved
methods of fertilization and conservation, farms are yieldind more than ever before.
In many areas laik Great Plains, land once used inefficiently for grazing in now used
to produce food.
But perhaps the most remarkable achievements have resuited from irrigation.West of the
Mississipi River alone,about 18 million hectares, once thought useless, have been reclaimed
through irrigation projects and supply water and power to many farm communities.
Scientists know that there are 20 million hectares in the vast western United States
which can be irrigated - a sourse of food for many millions of people.In, these scientists know
that an equal amount of land can be reslaimed by draining swamplands, and that another 36
million hectares of sandy pinelands and wet grasslands can be cleared for cultivation.
The people of the United States have really only begun to use their land resources. But
what they have been able to do thus far has made them appreciate how much more can be done.
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