The latest update on from the USDA, ERS Major Land Uses series shows that crop failure lead to a decline in U.S. harvested acres in 2017. Crop land used for crops is comprised of three components: cropland harvested, crop failure and cultivated summer fallow. Collectively, these components represent the land devoted to crop production in a given year. In 2017, cropland harvested declined to 314 million acres, 3 million acres less than the previous year’s area — the lowest recorded harvested cropland area since 2013 (311 million acres). A crop failure increase of 2 million acres largely contributed to this decline. The area that was double cropped, land from which two or more crops were harvested, held constant over the previous year at 6 million acres. Similarly, land used for cultivated summer fallow, which primarily occurs as part of wheat rotations in the West, maintained its 2016 level of 12 million acres — the lowest recorded estimate since the start of the MLU series. The larger historical fluctuations in cropland used for crop are primarily attributable to Federal cropland acreage reduction programs, which affect the amount of idled cropland. (Source: USDA, ERS Major Land Uses)
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