U.S. Has Lost Farmland Equivalent To Size Of Iowa To Development

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Nearly 31 million acres of farmland were irreversibly lost to development between 1992 and 2012, according to a report being released today by the American Farmland Trust (AFT).

“That is nearly double the amount of conversion previously documented and is equivalent to losing most of Iowa or New York,” the report said. “As alarming, this loss included almost 11 million acres of the best land for intensive food and crop production.”

Expanding urban areas accounted for 59 percent of the loss. Low-density residential development, including those large-tract homes on the edge of metropolitan areas, accounted for 41 percent.

AFT is calling for a national strategy to address farmland loss, including a “dramatic increase” in funding for agricultural land easements.

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