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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:11 pm
  

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UPDATED 8/16/2016. This is to make it easier to use and resolves previous inconsistencies with land usage that I discovered after making my first post.

My contribution to farming. This is a simplified version of what a I use I'm my game (I have it coded in excel to make quick changes and calculate down the exact number of people/sq. miles of farmland). The numbers are based on historical averages from each era, which can vary widely depending on the source and the exact decade. For example, the Nuclear Age in the 1950's output and population is quite different from the 1980's, but for simplicity I average it out to 1970's production. Most eras reduce how many laborers are needed on the farms and how much land is needed to support the overall population, [DELETED portion]. This formula also assumes 10% production of animal products. This does not include Animal Ranching as it can vary widely depending on free range vs. pens.

For simplicity we will assume a population of 1000 persons. This makes scaling it up and down easy. Next to each era I will list how much of the population is RURAL SUPPORT and How many Square Miles they need. The remaining population is either Urban or can be used for a professional military that is supported year round.

Era ----- Tech Description - RURAL Pop. - Square Miles Farmed
1750's ----- Agricultural Age ------ 950 ----- 30
1790's ----- Industrial Rev. -------- 900 ----- 30
1840's ----- Mechanized Age ------- 650 ----- 30
1880's ----- Steam Age ------------- 450 ----- 18
1930's ----- Oil Age ----------------- 250 ----- 12
1970's ----- Nuclear/Rocket Age ---- 50 ----- 8
2000's ----- Computer Age ---------- 10 ----- 4
2050's ----- Pre-Rifts/Robo ----------- 1 ------ 2

With each technological ERA we can see that we either need less people to farm the same land area or we need less people and LESS land. Tools, Machines, Vehicles and eventually Computers/Droids reduce the man power needed. Pesticides, Advanced Irrigation, Fertilizers and GMO's reduce how much land we need by yielding the same amount of food as a previous era with less loss or waste of the harvest to environmental factors. It should be noted that the loss of agricultural land in a military siege can be rather devastating to a nation that uses advanced farming. For example, a nation that uses Steam Age farming loses 10 square miles of farm land, they lose their farming capacity for 555 people. Everyone has to ration, but no one will starve. But a Computer Age society losing 10 square miles, 2500 people go without food. That land feeds 5 times as many people...


Last edited by bobharly on Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:39 am
  

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What category do you see the Coalition States falling into?

Have you thought about how to classify the magical nations agriculture? There is a lot of potential for magic to increase agricultural output.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:44 pm
  

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SereneTsunami wrote:
What category do you see the Coalition States falling into?

Have you thought about how to classify the magical nations agriculture? There is a lot of potential for magic to increase agricultural output.


Farmland Illinois (26.9 mil. acres) and Iowa (30.6 mil. acres). So lets use Source Book 1, 1st edition. Chi-town, which includes the territories of Illinois and Iowa has 61.2 mil. acres to potential farm (Much of it could have been reclaimed by wilderness, but we need to know the potential land area), which divided by 640 gives us square miles = 95.6k square miles.

This area has a population of 5.8 million humans (plus lets add in another 10% for D-bees or other "unwanted" life forms that would share a human diet). So 6.4 million mouths to feed.

UPDATED, AGAIN 8/16/2016***

[b]Steam Age does not work, because it requires 112.5k square miles for that population...
Oil Age needs 75k square miles, but oil is not a common commodity in Rifts, so lets skip that.
Nuclear/Rocket Age uses 50k square miles, and the CS has minimally this technology level. At this level 6.1 million people live in cities and 320k people to work the farms.
Now if we want to go up to automated farming, Computer Age: We need 27.6k square miles of farmland, but now 6.3 million people are Urban Dwellers. Only 64k people to work the farms.

Because the setting is POST rifts, I will not include Pre-rift technology for agriculture for such a large nation.

So if we use Computer Age, we know that the CS has cleared up to 28k square miles of farm land, and that there is another 68k square miles of untapped land that can be converted to farmland for population growth. We also know that of the 6.4 million humanoids living in the area, 6.35 million live in big cities like Chi-Town or Towns, which means their economy is likely to be as varied as our own today. Also given the size of the CS military, it would seem that like Israel, every citizen serves in the military, male or female, at some point. I don't have a formula for that, but off the top of my head I'd say 50% of the population has served, even if it was only a brief year or two of mandatory service.[/b]

As for magic, especially with Techno-Wizards, I would go Steam Punk. They may look like they are Steam Age with Locomotives and such, but their productivity could easy be in any higher category you desire. Magic Manure anyone???

The population can exceed the production of the farmland if they have the ability to import crops from another area (which the CS does have open land to the south).

My numbers come from Excel Spread sheet which is a bit more precise than the general numbers given above, but should be very close if you run the numbers.

Thanks, that was a good example of my system.
For Farmland Acreage and other related info: http://www.farmlandinfo.org/statistics/Iowa
This is where I pull my data.


Last edited by bobharly on Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:37 am
  

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Standby, I just found a flaw in my formula... The Computer Age is using too much land by nearly 2.5X's! I will revise and update this in about a week. My population numbers however still appear to be correct. I expect the CS's farmland estimate should go from 66k square miles to 25K square miles.

EDIT*** I have fixed the post above regarding the CS, but the first post still needs to be edited for Oil Age to Pre-Rifts agriculture. I will address that later because I would like to sleep right now. Thanks for reading. ;)

EDIT *** 8/16/2016. I have updated my tables and the above post about CS and Chi-town area. I will now bump for those who subscribed.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:41 pm
  

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Bump for Updates in above posts.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:12 am
  

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Good stuff! When I read the various WBs and see descriptions of independent cities I wonder where the food comes from. City of Brass, El Paso, Manoa, all seem to lack suitable land around them. You can say "magic" for 2 of those cities and be ok. I think farming techniques partly explain the low populations of humans in the Mexican kingdoms. The Lemurian Book goes into some detail about how those nomads feed themselves.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:05 pm
  

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SereneTsunami wrote:
Good stuff! When I read the various WBs and see descriptions of independent cities I wonder where the food comes from. City of Brass, El Paso, Manoa, all seem to lack suitable land around them. You can say "magic" for 2 of those cities and be ok. I think farming techniques partly explain the low populations of humans in the Mexican kingdoms. The Lemurian Book goes into some detail about how those nomads feed themselves.


For me this model was pivotal to my campaign. I am writing a Robotech-Rifts Crossover game, based on Mosepeda/Invid Invasion. Since the harvesting of Protocuture is the core reason for the occupation I hit upon the idea that it is an agricultural war for land. So I had to be able to calculate how much land the Invid Farm and need to slave labor for. Then I could calculate how much remaining land was left for human survival as a species or building new nations in less desirable areas. Just for the record, the Invid are terribly inefficient farmers, using up to 50% of their population to manage the groves. In occupation areas, the excess urban population is the first to be taken for slave labor, so no large cities exist there. Although, I am working on an idea to put Chicago in as a labor center, but I'm not there yet...

To make my agriculture model work you have to a bit of homework, but the farming acreage of each state is published on many different websites, so it isn't that hard to figure out how much farm land is available if they reclear the land. To convert acres to square miles, divide by 640. I find square miles easier to visualize. I just finished detailing New Mexico and Pecos Empire areas last night, setting their agriculture at Mechanical Age. Of the 60k people that live in New Mexico, 39k are homesteader farmers struggling against drought and pestilence. By my calculations at this technology level the population would max out at 150k without importing food.

So yes, I agree the agricultural model explains low populations better than violence in many cases. In my campaign for example, I ruled that 90% of the population died out because of starvation and illness due to the mass disruption of supply chains and key cities being destroyed. Many survived the Zentradi Rain of Death and the Invid Invasions only to find that they had no survival skills in a world without super markets...


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:21 pm
  

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Since Nomads were brought up I will add more categories:

Nomadic Hunter/Gatherer. No cities, 100% of the 1000 person sample contributes to Rural Support. Land needed is 12000 square miles!
Nomadic Herding. No cities, 100% of the 1000 persons are Rural Support. Land needed is 4000 square miles.
Ranching or Non-Nomadic Herding. 50% of the 1000 persons are Rural Support. Land needed is (Still working on that one? I have my data but need to recheck some assumptions...)


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