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 941,388,600
Cropland in 2016 365,447,100
Pastureland in 2016 117,005,400
Rangeland in 2016 398,645,300
Woodland in 2016 60,290,700
Agricultural land in 2001 943,037,400

High-quality Agricultural Land

Data Item Acres
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2016 357,568,800
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2001 358,404,300
States' best agricultural land in 2016 474,496,300
States' best agricultural land in 2001 476,206,283
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. For more information about these categories of 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 10,933,500
Agricultural land converted to urban and highly-developed land use (UHD) 4,139,700
Agricultural land converted to low-density residential land use (LDR) 6,793,800
Nationally Significant agricultural land developed or compromised 4,400,200
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to UHD 1,575,600
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to LDR 2,824,600
States' best agricultural land developed or compromised 5,392,650
States' best agricultural land converted to UHD 2,113,713
States' best agricultural land converted to LDR 3,278,937
   

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