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Roger Weller, geology instructor regional geology planetary gems
by Adam Hansen
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.
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.
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.