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Abstract

Excerpt from the report highlights: Between 1944 and 1964 land classed as cropland (excluding cropland pasture) by the U.S. Census of Agriculture decreased from 403 million acres to 376 million. However, land was being developed in some parts of the country and abandoned or converted from cropland in other places. During this 20-year period, 868 counties showed a total increase of 26.7 million acres of cropland while 2,204 counties showed a total decrease of 53.5 million--a net decrease of 26.8 million. In addition to this net decrease, there was a 39-million-acre increase in non-harvested cropland--land available for crop production but currently unused. Not all land classed as cropland is used every year in the production of crops for harvest. Some is in fallow, some in soil-conserving crops and some completely idle. Thus, harvested land decreased a total of 66 million acres--from 353 million to 287 million.

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