Plain old lawn grass is our nation’s largest irrigated crop

Grist reports that the largest irrigated crop in the United States isn’t corn or soy or marijuana or cotton or even presidential candidates. It’s grass.

It us now estimated that there are more than 63,000 square miles of lawn in the U.S., an area  three times larger than the land occupied by any irrigated crop in the United States. And while grass can act as a carbon sink by pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, its positive effects are cancelled out by the amount of water required to keep lawns alive.

One report says that lawn maintenance uses up to 235 gallons of water per person per day  and adds emissions from fertilization and operation of mowing equipment. In most regions, outdoor water use accounts for 50 to 75 percent of total residential water use.

In spite of an increasing national awareness that growing and mowing our largest irrigated crop is a terrible way to go, people are still  getting arrested for not mowing and lawn mower sales are rising smartly.

Reference: Grist.