CARBONDALE, Ill. — If an apple represents the Earth, here’s a demonstration, shared by Agriculture in the Classroom and others, of how much of the world is used for farmland and why land stewardship is critical.

1. Slice the apple into fourths and throw away three pieces because they represent water.

2. Divide the remaining slice in half and throw away one piece as it represented uninhabited arctic areas.

3. Now there’s one-eighth left — cut it into fourths and discard three pieces for land that’s too rocky or high, too wet or too poor for crops.

4. Here’s one-32nd of the original apple. Peel this section and throw out the core as the core and mantle of the planet.

5. The remaining peel denotes the remaining thin layer of soil for crops. It also represents population.

6. Because the population is growing, chip away at that tiny apple peel for population expansion and lost farmland.

Karen Binder can be reached at 618-534-0614 or kbinder@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Binder.

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