Agreed, many places the soil is shot.
Without some serious work, it won’t come back in our lifetimes.
Dry land farming, it was almost amusing in a sad way watching acre after acre burn up the 15 years before we left eastern Colorado. Drought after drought, the crops often wouldn’t get over a foot tall before burning up. The only crops that made it were irrigated.
Much depends on where you are.
Where I grew up, most farms had gone mechanical and if they had a critter, it was for 4H not for plowing.
Where we left, most farms were without animals, the farmers having town jobs to supplement their income.
Here in the rugged west, most ranchers use four wheelers and razors to get around rather than horses. They carry more, go faster, have a seat, don’t get tired, and don’t need to be fed or see a vet.
I see more horses out and about during hunting season than any other time, and that’s the outfitters not your regular hunters.
Looking back to the 1860-80s, compare the population to the number of horses, then add in the other transport methods like trains to carry cargo.
So many talk of small shareholdings, small self sufficient farms, these never quite were even yesterday. Very few places have enough resources to supply what a family needs, or close.
That farmer bought his tea and coffee, his clothing, his axe and saddle, while raising his beef. The corn farmer did the same. They may have gardened heavily, but they still bought much of what they needed.
Its a pipe dream for most of us.
Much like the “head for the hills” types, there’s not enough hills for everyone headed there.
Where I grew up, throwing a seed at the ground almost guaranteed a bumper crop.
Zucchini was a weed. Our neighbors had a 1/2 acre garden in town for two of them. And they still bought much of what they ate in the off season despite her canning and freezing.
And he was a master gardener.
For the rest of us with our seed vaults, no water and cruddy soil if one has soil to plant at all, the outlook is bleak.