Millions of acres of America’s agricultural land were developed or converted to uses that threaten farming between 2001 and 2016, according to American Farmland Trust. The organization this week released a report on U.S. farmland.
The report’s Agricultural Land Protection Scorecard is the first-ever state-by-state analysis of policies that respond to the development threats to farmland, showing that every state can, and must, do more to protect their agricultural resources.
The report shows the extent, location, and quality of each state’s agricultural land and tracks how much of it has been converted. The research also reveals a new threat of land use of low-density residential development, the process of farmland being converted to large-lot residential development.
American Farmland Trust says low-density residential development compromises opportunities for farming and ranching, making it difficult for farmers to get into their fields or travel between fields. Additionally, new residents not used to living next farms often complain about equipment on roads or odors related to farming. The full report is available at farmland.org.