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GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FINDS MORE FARMLAND THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
Farm Progress reports:

A U.S. Geological Survey study has found there's more agricultural land in the world than previously thought - and most of it is located not in the United States, but in India.

Global cropland totals 1.87 billion hectares (4.62 billion acres), 15% to 20% higher than earlier estimates. The increase is due to the assessment of areas previously mapped inaccurately, or left unmapped.

India has the largest cropland of any country at 179.8 million hectares, compared with 167.8 million in the U.S. and 165.2 million in China. Russia ranks fourth, while South Asia and Europe are labeled "agricultural capitals of the world," as cropland accounts for more than 80% of some countries in those regions.

In comparison, only about a fifth of land in U.S. and China is dedicated to growing food. The USGS study used satellite images and big data analytics, and is part of a NASA-funded project to provide high-resolution data on farmland and water use.


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