Agricultural Practice in the United States: Complete Guide

Agricultural practice in the United States: complete guide is meant to disillusion your misinformation about the United States of America and her culture of practicing agriculture. Many people, especially from Africa, believe agriculture is a dirty job even though it is the means to feeding the human population. As against its benefits and support to the growth and development of mankind, they believe Americans may never want to soil their hands with the stress, tiredness, and drudgery that comes with farming or the various agricultural practices.

Surprisingly, the United States of America practices agriculture more than any other countries of the world. This is because the country is a major industry and net exporter of food the world over. As of the 2017 census of agriculture, there were 2.04 million farms, covering an area of 900 million acres (1,400,000 sq mi), an average of 441 acres (178 hectares) per farm. Given its wide expanse of land that makes it impossible for some manual kind of labor to be effective, USA then practices a mechanized form of agriculture, thereby needing only a single hand on a per square kilometer of farmland for massive agricultural production.

Agricultural Practice in the United States: Complete Guide

1. The United States Space for Agriculture

It is no doubt that about 45 percent of the land in the USA is spared for agriculture in the Great Plains. Although agricultural activity occurs in every U.S. state, a vast expanse of flat arable land in the center of the nation, in the region west of the Great Lakes and east of the Rocky Mountains.

This includes 431.1 million acres of cropland, 396.9 million acres of pasture, and 71.5 million acres of forests. In 1998, the total crop output of the United States was 489,976,030 metric tons with a value of $102.14 billion.

2. Common Farm Products in the USA

The eastern wetter half is a major corn and soybean producing region known as the Corn Belt, and the western drier half is known as the Wheat Belt because of its high rate of wheat production. The Central Valley of California produces fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The American South has historically been a large producer of cotton, tobacco, and rice, but it has declined in agricultural production over the past century.

The U.S. has led developments in seed improvement, such as hybridization, and in expanding uses for crops from the work of George Washington Carver to bioplastics and biofuels. The mechanization of farming and intensive farming have been major themes in U.S. history, including John Deere’s steel plow, Cyrus McCormick’s mechanical reaper, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, and the widespread success of the Fordson tractor and the combine harvester. Modern agriculture in the U.S. ranges from hobby farms and small-scale producers to large commercial farms that cover thousands of acres of cropland or rangeland.

The United States is the world’s largest producer of timber. About 70 percent of the nation’s forests are privately owned, but there is also limited logging allowed in federally-owned or managed forests. Almost 80 percent of timber harvested is soft woods such as pine or Douglas Fir. Hardwoods such as oak account for the remaining 20 percent.

The majority of U.S. fish cultivation is used domestically, and about half is for human consumption. There is a wide variety of species caught, including cod, haddock, pollock, tuna, and salmon. Various shellfish such as lobster, shrimp, or crab account for about 20 percent of the annual harvest, but provide about one-half of the total revenues. Commercial fish farms are increasingly common and used for species such as salmon, catfish, and shrimp. Total fish harvests amounted to $3.7 billion in 1998, of which shellfish totals were $1.6 billion.

3. Farm Workers in the USA

Farmworkers in the United States have unique demographics, wages, working conditions, organizing, and environmental aspects. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health in Agricultural Safety, there are approximately 2,112,626 full-time workers were employed in production agriculture in the US in 2019 and approximately 1.4 to 2.1 million hired crop workers are employed annually on crop farms in the US. A study by the USDA found the average age of a farmworker to be 33. In 2017, the Department of Labor and Statistics found the median wage to be $23,730 a year, or $11.42 per hour.

The types of farmworkers include field crop workers, nursery workers, greenhouse workers, supervisors, etc. The United States Department of Labor findings for the years 2019-2020 report that 63 percent of crop workers were born in Mexico, 30 percent in the United States or Puerto Rico, 5 percent in Central America, and 2 percent in other regions. The amount of farm labor in the United States has changed substantially: in 1870, almost 50 percent of the U.S. population was employed in agriculture; As of 2008, less than 2 percent of the population is directly employed in agriculture.

4. Hazards of Agricultural Practice in the USA

Farming is one of the few industries in which families (who often share the work and live on the premises) are also at risk for injuries, illness, and death. Agriculture is the most dangerous industry for young workers, accounting for 42% of all work-related fatalities of young workers in the U.S. between 1992 and 2000. Agriculture in the U.S. makes up approximately 75% of the country’s pesticide use. Agricultural workers are at high risk for being exposed to dangerous levels of pesticides, whether or not they are directly working with the chemicals.

5. United States of America Research Facilities on Agriculture

Research centers are established on agricultural practice in the United States: complete guide. They are not simply to conduct research on how to promote agricultural health and safety through educational outreach programs but also to make findings on the subject of occupational disease and injury prevention:

  • Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
  • Migrant Clinicians Network, Salisbury, MD
  • Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, University of California, Davis, CA
  • National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield, WI
  • Northeast Center for Agricultural and Occupational Health, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, Cooperstown, NY
  • Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
  • Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education, University of Texas, Tyler, TX
  • Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center
Minnesota Collaborations
  • The University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, St. Paul, MN, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN and the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield, WI

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