Farmland Disappearing at an Alarming Rate

Article Posted on May 9, 2018

Around any large or mid-size city in America, one can find land that was previously rich, fertile farmland being bulldozed and segmented to make room for housing and/or commercial businesses. It might be a well-deserved retirement fund for farmers, but once the land is covered with buildings and residences, it will never be farmland again.

The American Farmland Trust (AFT) recently released a comprehensive assessment of the loss of U.S. farmland and ranchland. “Farms Under Threat: The State of America’s Farmland” sounds a stark warning: The loss of farmland is serious and will accelerate unless action is taken, AFT said in a news release.

AFT shares the report’s key findings:

  • Between 1992 and 2012, almost 31 million acres of farmland were lost, equal to all the farmland in Iowa
  • Nearly twice the area of farmland was lost than was previously shown
  • 11 million of those acres were among the best farmland in the nation
  • Development disproportionately occurred on agricultural lands, with 62% of all development occurring on farmland
  • Expanding urban areas accounted for 59% of the loss. Low-density residential development, or the building of houses on 1-to-20-acre parcels, accounted for 41%

“Farms Under Threat: The State of America’s Farmland” is the first step in a multifaceted initiative, the organization says. It will be followed by a separate report later this year that analyzes past farmland loss state-by-state and looks at the effectiveness of state farmland protection policies. At that point, AFT will “assess a range of future threats, forecast potential impacts to 2040 at a county level and recommend effective policies at all levels that help conserve agricultural land,” it said in the release…

Click here to view original article