Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography & Geographic Information Science


This thesis Is a land utilization study of Burke County. The county has two distinct physical regions, thus two distinct forms of agriculture are practiced. Grain farming Is dominant on the Drift Prairie and mixed livestock and grain farming are common on the more rugged terrain of the Missouri Plateau.

Further study reveals that a definite loss of population, both rural and urban, is in progress. The greatest out-migration is composed of younger people and senior citizens, leaving a middle age group as the dominant segment of the population. This loss of population is expected to continue.

Average farm size Is increasing, a trend which will continue to reduce the number of smaller family-sized farms.

At present, petroleum has a stimulating effect on the economy of the county. This will possibly continue for at least a twenty year period after which a minor recession may occur, resulting in a decline of the smaller towns of the county. Out of these conditions, three major marketing centers are and will continue to evolve. They are: Powers Lake, Columbus, and Bowbella.

The conclusions were drawn after a study of the physical, cultural, and economic aspects had been examined and evaluated.