You know, I thought the same thing for a long time. Then I remembered that The Wheel of Time world doesn't have many of the same conditions we do here. One big one is they didn't have a major religion saying things like:But that bit in the first book where they talk about the thousands of square miles of prime land that hasn't been inhabited since Artur Hawkwing's day a thousand years before makes no damn sense at all.
But, I do agree, a thousand years to leave an area of excellent farmland uninhabited does seem unusual. I would have liked him (RJ) to have at least put in there that some sort of supernatural stuff was believed to be going on there (It doesn't have to be true, just believed).As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.