North American Soils and World Food

  • William E. Rees
Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2016)


It has often been said that the ‘discovery’ and opening up of the New World rescued Europe from early decline. The most obvious basis for this claim is the renewed abundance of resources ranging from gold, silver and other minerals, to timber and guano (natural fertilizer) essential for the growth and maintenance of civilization.


Arable Land Conservation Tillage Conservation Reserve Program Soil Conservation Service Soil Organic Carbon Loss 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Derpsch R, Friedrich T, Kassam A, Hongwen L (2010) Current status of adoption of no-till farming in the world and some of its main benefits. Int J Agric Biol Eng 3(1):1–26Google Scholar
  2. Eshel G, Shepon A, Makov T, Milo R (2014) Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111(33):11996–12001. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1402183111 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. FAO (2003) World agriculture: towards 2015/2030 (An FAO perspective) esp. Chap 12 ‘Agriculture and the Environment: Changing Pressures, Solutions and Trade-Offs’. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Available at
  4. FAO (2008) FAOSTATS. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available at
  5. FAO (2015) Status of the World’s soil resources. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  6. Geohive (2015) World fruit production in metric tons (excluding melons). Available at
  7. Kissinger M, Rees WE (2009) Footprints on the prairies: degradation and sustainability of Canadian agricultural land in a globalizing world. Ecol Econ 68(2009):2309–2315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Manning R (2016) The Trouble with Iowa (Report). Harpers 332, No. 1989: 23–30Google Scholar
  9. McConkey BG, Lobb DA, Li S, Black JMW, Krug PM (2010) Soil erosion on cropland: introduction and trends for Canada, Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010. Technical Thematic Report No. 16 (Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers)Google Scholar
  10. Nationmaster (2011) Hectares per Capita: countries compared. Available at
  11. StatsCan (2009) Food production and the environment: annual statistics section 1: food in Canada, Stats Canada. Available at
  12. Steward D, Bruss P, Yang X, Staggenborg S, Welch S, Apley M (2013) Tapping unsustainable groundwater stores for agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas, projections to 2110. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (37), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220351110. Available at
  13. TFE (2015) The top five countries that produce the most vegetables. Top five of everything. Available at
  14. Tilman D, Fargione J, Wolff B, D’Antonio C, Dobson A, Howarth R, Schindler D, Schlesinger WH, Simberloff D, Swackhamer D (2001) Forecasting agriculturally driven global environmental change. Science 292(5515):281–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. USDA (2014) 2014 State agricultural overview—Iowa. Available at
  16. USDA (2015) California drought: farm and food impacts. US Department of Agriculture. Available at
  17. USDA (2016) Cited in global soybean production. Available at
  18. USDA. ND. 80 years helping people help the land: a brief history of NRCS. US Department of Agriculture. Available at
  19. US Senate (1936) S.rp.1481, Conservation and utilization of the soil resource. Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Senate, January 16, 1936Google Scholar
  20. WFP (2013) What happens if US loses California food production? Western Farm Press. Available at
  21. Winter M, Foster C (2014) Ogallala aquifer – lifeblood of the high plains Part I: Withdrawals exceed recharge. CoBank Knowledge Exchange. Available at
  22. WP (2016) Western producer. Canada aims to leapfrog U.S. in global wheat trade (Reuters). Available at
  23. WPC (2016) World population clock. Available at

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Community and Regional PlanningUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations