State of the State of Farmland in the US
North Carolina ranks 2nd nationwide for the amount of acres converted to a developed use for the years 2001 – 2016, with only Texas beating us out in this infamous ranking. The American Farmland Trust recently released this fascinating webinar that discusses 1) the drivers behind the conversion of farmland to developed uses (Low Density Residential Land Use takes the cake), 2) an introduction to the most comprehensive spatial analysis of farmland in the lower 48 states that has ever been done, and 3) a discussion around farmland protection and farm viability policies (including FarmLink Programs) in each state.
From 2001 – 2016, 133 acres/day, or 731,600 acres of NC’s agricultural land was converted or compromised.
American Farmland Trust recommends a multi-faceted approach including Purchase of Agricultural Easements, Local Land Use Planning, Property Tax Use Assessments, Agricultural Districts, FarmLink Programs, and Leasing of State Owned Farmland. Continuing to push and develop these program and policies to take the pressure off of developing our best farmland will boost farm viability, encourage young people to stay involved in agriculture, and increase our resilience. As we face more uncertainties in our world including global pandemics and climate change, its vital that we secure a safe and reliable food supply for current and future generations. At the current rate of land conversion in North Carolina, by the year 2100 we will have converted 1/3 of our most important farmlands to a developed use.
You won’t regret being more informed!