A variety of land problems have arisen in North America from poor land usage and other forms of land degradation.
Erosion, soil contamination, and poor agricultural practices are among the leading factors that are causing a
deterioration of land quality.
Though Canada is heavily industrialized, it is also highly dependent on its land resources. One third of the Canadian workforce is employed in land-based industries.
In the US, the number of people employed in the agricultural sector has rapidly declined in the course of history. Increases in productivity have meant that far fewer workers are needed to produce far more crops.
However, half of the land in the United States is still used for
agricultural purposes. About 186 million hectares are used, a figure which has been steady since the end of the Second World War.
Farms have grown in size, and corporate farming has replaced the individual farmer in many parts of North America. There were about 2 million farms in the United States in 1994, a figure which declined from 2.9 million 25 years before.
New agricultural practices associated with changing methods of production have deeply affected the land.
Pesticides such as DDE have not only ruined the environment, but have also found their way into human bodies, causing a large amount of sickness.
From 1982 to 1992, farmers in the United States eliminated one billion metric tons of soil erosion. Pesticide reduction programs have also discouraged the use of land-degrading chemical substances.