Study: U.S. Farmland Shrinking

A report from American Farmland Trust released Wednesday finds that between 1992 and 2012, almost 31 million acres of farmland were lost, equal to all the farmland in Iowa.

The “Farms Under Threat: The State of America’s Farmland” report shows the loss of farmland “is serious” and “will accelerate” unless action is taken. The report found that of the 31 million acres lost in that time, 11 million of those acres were among the best farmland in the nation. The data found that 62 percent of all development between 1992 and 2012 occurred on farmland, and expanding urban areas accounted for 59 percent of the loss.

An AFT spokesperson says action is needed now “because the lost farmland is irretrievable.” The organization further states that allowing large-scale farmland loss to continue “imperils our ability to feed our growing population” and challenges the nation’s economic prosperity.