Map Monday: Agricultural Ecosystems of the Lower 48

I came across a post reporting a recent study on U.S. farm data and found a dramatic loss in crop diversity, as the study then points out lack of crop diversity has implications with how farms handle evolving climates. This map was used to breakdown the U.S into agricultural resource regions.



Minnesota is one of the few states with three distinct agricultural resource regions. Northern Great Plains, Heartland, and Northern Crescent. The post goes on to note that the Heartland Resource Region has the highest agricultural production value but the lowest crop diversity. Also noted, the Northern Crescent Resource Region has the highest crop diversity.

Aside from the agronomic and environmental issues scientist are sure to dig into from this data, from an urban issues perspective I find myself speculating that a city being near or within a resource region with high crop diversity among farmers lends the city a bit more flexibility with getting as much of its food locally.

The urban area might have a better network of farms to support successful community supported agriculture (CSAs) or meat shares in these high crop diversity resource regions. Comparing the national map of CSAs at the website Local Harvest, there is a remarkable degree of overlap in very dense CSA presence and the Northern Crescent Resource Region. That could be a matter, though of concentration of metropolitan areas and climate though too.

Eric Anondson

About Eric Anondson

Born in St. Louis Park and lived there nearly 28 years but has been living in Hopkins since 2008. Eric's hopped around two years or so at a time in Loring Park, Laurel Village, Snellby, Whittier, and Golden Valley. He works in downtown Minneapolis. On Twitter as @xeoth.