Cochise College           Student Papers in Geology

Geology Home Page                   physical geology  historical geology             

Roger Weller, geology instructor            regional geology  planetary  gems

Farmland Rezoning
by Adam Hansen
Physical Geology
Spring 2008

                          Rezoning of America’s Farmland

More and more we see farmland disappearing and new homes and businesses being built.  Local governments have been issuing new zoning licenses to developers.


As seen here, brand new homes were built on rezoned

land across the street from the original farm.


          With the rising crude oil prices many people are turning towards the use of ethanol fuel, derived from American grown corn.  Countries, such as Brazil, have been using ethanol for years and have surpluses they could export.  Instead of importing ethanol the U.S. government has decided to subsidize farmers for growing corn used in the production of ethanol.  However the ethanol boom may save some farmland from being sold due to the profits the farmers can make.

Once all farm land, the horizon is covered with new construction.

          For the first time in America’s history we are beginning to import edible corn.  America is the world’s top producer of corn and due to the production of ethanol and the rezoning of fertile farm lands we find ourselves importing corn.

Image:E85 logo.png

Logo for E85 ethanol used in America

          Farmers have been using fertilizers for many years for a very specific reason; the soil does not have the proper nutrients.  Even with the use of fertilizers soil can become agriculturally useless due to the drawing out of all the nutrients.  When this happens the soil turns to clay, in which it is very hard to sustain crops.

            With a growing population and high demand for ethanol we cannot afford to have fertile lands built upon.  In the future if there were a food shortage or any such crisis it would cost too much for farmers to remove homes and businesses from fertile lands to replant crops.



        A portion of this farm was rezoned as residential and      This was once a thriving corn and soy bean field, it

      homes now reside on the land where crops once grew.    has been cleared to make way for new development.


           The next series of photographs is a nearly fifty acre plot of rezoned farmland that is being developed into a high school in Illinois.  The land was once used for corn and soy bean, planted in alternating years.  The farm land next to the complex where the high school is being built was purchased by developers who plan on building a 200 home subdivision.