New Report Outlines Threats to Farmland in the US —
Particularly Land for Food Production
Earlier this month, American Farmland Trust — a national organization dedicated to conserving our productive farmland — released a new study examining the threats to our agricultural lands. It provides policy solutions to support long-term protection and conservation of agricultural land in the US — aimed at sustaining an expanding population and protecting biodiversity.
The study found that almost 31 million acres of farmland was lost to development between 1992 and 2012. By 2012 the best land to support intensive food and crop production had dropped to less than 17 percent of the total land area in the continental United States.
The report also includes recommendations, such as increased funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program in the 2018 Farm Bill; providing funding support for programs that monitor threats to U.S. land resources, creating tools that link farm business development and resource protection; and funding new investments in planning to help rural communities address low density residential development and plan more proactively for agricultural economic development and conservation.
Beyond food, the study lays out the benefits agricultural land provides, including:
open space and scenic views,
biodiversity and wildlife habitat,
fire suppression, floodplain management and carbon sequestration,
These are values we see everyday with our local agricultural landscapes —and that we are all working to protect across Long Island.