Farming in Illinois
Farming in Illinois has been it main industry since it became a state. Illinois has lost farmland and there are departments trying to fix that. Farming has brought new inventions into the world as well. All types of agriculture has been huge to Illinois and its history, economy, and land protection.
The Agriculture Department helps state agencies, planning commissions, and county governments. The department helps these agencies by reducing farmland being affected with conversion and development. “Department policy is not designed to limit or stop development…” The department is trying to minimize the conversion and development on agriculture land. Alot of acres have been lost and it might have an impact on some farming operations. Plans have been submitted by agencies, commissions, and other government units (“Farmland” para. 5). Farmland is a natural resource, and it can be used multiple times. Crops and livestock are both raised on farmland. These create goods that are used throughout the world. The farmland absorbs rainwater, which means it replenishes groundwater and can reduce flooding. It also provides habitats for wildlife (“Farmland” para. 1). “Farmland cannot be created…” When farmland is developed or converted, it usually can’t be used for farming. Development even happens on the best farmland, which means marginal land is increasing. Why can’t you farm on marginal land? Farming on marginal land is a huge risk, because of soil erosion, there are more chemical inputs, and it takes complex management (“Farmland” para. 3). 3.6 million acres were lost, “...an average of almost 77,000 acres each year” In 1950- 1990, the population in the U.S. raised over 97 million, and the population in Illinois raised over 2.7 million. When the world’s population goes up, the number of food and other goods go up (“Farmland” para. 4). Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Illinois. It employs 1 million people in Illinois, and it employs 20 million people over the entire U.S. Selling farm goods in Illinois makes $8 billion. Ag-related contributes add even more billions to the economy. “For example, food processing alone add almost $11.5 billion annually…” (“Farmland para. 2). In 1920, a lot of marginal land was abandoned. In 1930, Civilian Conservation Corps did soil conservations, flood control, and reforestation. In 1938, 50 CCC camps were built in Illinois, and each CCC camp had about 500 men where trying to make a living (Kohlmeyer 175). LESAS stands for Land Evaluation Site Assessment System. County-specific systems decide whether the land in the area could be farmed, planned land, or turned into road systems. Properties are ranked by how fertile their land is. This helps local officials to see what use is best for the certain type of land. For example, if an acre of land is poor of nutrients and nothing really grows there, it might be used for a road or a convenience store....