We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.

Please use a new browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge to improve your experience.

We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.


Economic Benefits of Farmland Preservation: Evidence from the United States

For the last 50 years, local, state and the federal governments have expressed concerns about farmland retention. Four benefits have been used to warrant farmland preservation programs: food security and local food supply, viable local agricultural economy, environmental and rural amenities, and sound fiscal policy and orderly development. We explore the available evidence of how well farmland preservation programs have provided these benefits. Research suggests that people clearly desire farmland preservation programs and express a willingness to pay for the environmental and rural amenities provided. Some evidence has been found that farmland preservation programs can benefit the local economy and/or have no negative impacts relative to other economic development opportunities. The programs appear to slow farmland loss and thus may be having an impact on local government expenditures and orderly development, but the evidence here is limited due to methodological issues.

Downloadable Documents
Lori Lynch and Joshua M. Duke
College Park, MD: University of Maryland
Publication Date
July 01, 2004
Publication Type
Reports and Guides

Visit American Farmland Trust

Get engaged and receive the information you need right in your inbox.