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Farms Under Threat: The State of the States

Farms Under Threat is American Farmland Trust's multi-year initiative to complete the most comprehensive assessment of the loss of U.S. farmland and ranchland ever undertaken, both past and future. AFT's goal is to document the threats and offer policy solutions to ensure the long-term protection and conservation of agricultural land in the United States to sustain an expanding population and protect biodiversity.

Farms Under Threat: The State of the States

All estimates represent figures for the Conterminous U.S.

 

Total and Agricultural Land Cover/Use

Data Item Acres
Total land area in 2016 1,926,832,400
Agricultural land in 2016 941,206,400
Cropland in 2016 365,406,300
Pastureland in 2016 116,945,100
Rangeland in 2016 398,645,300
Woodland in 2016 60,209,600
Agricultural land in 2001 942,820,300

High-quality Agricultural Land

Data Item Acres
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2016 357,549,600
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2001 358,388,500
States' best agricultural land in 2016 474,401,200
States' best agricultural land in 2001 476,206,300
Nationally Significant agricultural land is the land best-suited to long-term, intensive crop production within the Conterminous United States; and each state’s “best land” is approximately the better half of all agricultural land in each state. These two categories overlap and the same land may be included in both. For more information about high-quality agricultural land and how they were identified, see the interactive website for Farms Under Threat: The State of the States, and the fact sheet about AFT’s Productivity, Versatility, and Resiliency (PVR) Analysis.

Agricultural Land Converted from 2001 - 2016

Data Item Acres
Agricultural land developed or compromised 10,932,500
Agricultural land converted to urban and highly-developed land use (UHD) 4,139,600
Agricultural land converted to low-density residential land use (LDR) 6,792,800
Nationally Significant agricultural land developed or compromised 4,400,000
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to UHD 1,575,600
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to LDR 2,824,400
States' best agricultural land developed or compromised 5,392,600
States' best agricultural land converted to UHD 2,113,700
States' best agricultural land converted to LDR 3,278,900
   

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