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How Much Cropland to Feed "X" Number of People?


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Friends,

i am trying to figure out:

When planning a (Reasonably) self-sufficient city from scratch—given "X" Number of People, how many Square-Miles of Cropland do I need to feed them using traditional agriculture?

Assume good soil and growing conditions comparable to Mid-Western Farmland and a typical American Diet.

In the second case: IF I go to intense hydroponics, then how much land would I need?

Assume that I wish to grow enough annuals like grain; potatoes and peanuts to feed people and livestock—What would be a reasonable amount of land to add for orchards; vineyards and nut trees for a more varied diet?

Thanks.

 

Saxon Violence

 

 

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18 hours ago, SaxonViolence said:

Friends,

i am trying to figure out:

When planning a (Reasonably) self-sufficient city from scratch—given "X" Number of People, how many Square-Miles of Cropland do I need to feed them using traditional agriculture?

Assume good soil and growing conditions comparable to Mid-Western Farmland and a typical American Diet.

In the second case: IF I go to intense hydroponics, then how much land would I need?

Assume that I wish to grow enough annuals like grain; potatoes and peanuts to feed people and livestock—What would be a reasonable amount of land to add for orchards; vineyards and nut trees for a more varied diet?

Thanks.

 

Saxon Violence

 

 

"The figure is a little hard to swallow: 1,996 pounds, or nearly one ton. This is an estimate of how much — by weight — the average American eats over the course of one year. The figure comes from economists who crunched food consumption data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

"As examples of potential production capability one acre of land can produce as much as 42,000 pounds of strawberries, 25,400 pounds of potatoes, or 11,000 pounds of iceberg lettuce."

 

So, it depends on the crop but let's say potatoes so each acre of land can produce enough food for 12.725 people for a year. If it were strawberries, then it would be 21 people per acre of land for a year. Getting an exact estimate for a variety of crops would be difficult however those are some estimates for a single crop. Just as a average let's say your diet was Strawberries, Potatoes, and Iceberg Lettuce then it would produce 26,133.33 pounds of food per year so it would feed 13.092 people on that triple food diet of vegetables for a year. On the figure for the hydroponics part of the question, I have no clue exactly how that affects the amount of food produced so I won't begin to try to calculate the exact number of people that could feed for crops. I will however calculate the amount of farmland that is needed to feed the entire world with a triple food diet which is 7,753,000,000 people / 13.092 people per acre = 592,193,706.08 acres for everyone to eat that triple food diet.

How Much Farmland is on Earth?

"Two fifths of all land. . .
915 million acres."
So, it is actually possible to feed the entire human population this triple food diet and everyone eat like an American with 322 million acres left over for biofuels production or the Earth could support a population of 12,114,062,000 people with 915 million acres using all viable farmland.
 
Edited by Vmedvil5
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