Full text: Modern business geography

The United States as a Farming Country 
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Fie. 16. Western Europe has about one fourth the land area of the United States, with about 
50,000,000 more people to be supported by the land. Would you expect such a region to be mainly 
agricultural or mainly industrial ? 
Basin district which lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Coast 
Ranges, are too dry; others, like the Rocky Mountain district, 
are too rugged. Still, there remains nearly half of the area of the 
United States that can be successfully farmed. 
System of cultivation. As yet, most of this favorable half has 
been farmed only by the method of exfensive cultivation; that is, 
crops are planted once a year over broad areas, with little or no 
fertilizer, and are largely left to take care of themselves until har- 
vest time. This method means a small yield per acre, but it allows 
one man, with the help of horses and machines, to cultivate many 
acres, so that large returns are possible. 
Our crops might be doubled or even trebled if our lands were to be 
as inlensively cultivated as most of western Europe, China, and 
Japan. In those regions, with the help of fertilizers and with proper 
care to remove the weeds, much of the land commonly yields two 
large crops a year. As our population increases, farming will pre- 
sumably become less extensive and more intensive; for the area of 
new lands that can be occupied is fast diminishing. Under inten- 
sive cultivation the great size of our country will be a factor even 
more important than it is now in maintaining our agricultural leader- 
ship among the nations.

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