Farms Under Threat: Past and Future
“Farms Under Threat: The State of America’s Farmland” examined the irreversible loss of agricultural land to development between 1992 and 2012.
Our newest report, “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States,” analyzes state-level data on past farmland conversion and the effectiveness of state-level farmland protection policies.
The extensive spatial and policy databases underpinning “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States” hold the promise of countless additional insights. We plan to unlock them through future research endeavors.
Our next report will forecast potential impacts of future threats—including development pressure and climate change—through 2040. We must answer the question: What will happen to our agricultural land as the population continues to grow, consumer housing preferences change, coastal flooding causes in-migration, and farmers and ranchers adapt to raise crops and livestock in the face of worsening droughts, floods, fires, and temperature extremes? This information will help counties, states, and the federal government prepare for future threats and save the land that we will need in 2040 and beyond.
We also will update our state policy scorecard to include policies aimed at promoting on-farm conservation, regenerative production practices, and climate resilience.
We plan upcoming analyses on:
- Wildlife habitat quality and connectivity on agricultural lands;
- Other ecosystem services provided by agricultural lands; and
- Agricultural viability as influenced by availability of land and infrastructure, farm profitability, and the demographics of farmers and farmworkers.
Finally, we’re collecting and compiling data from states and land trusts to produce a Protected Agricultural Land Database, which will provide better coverage and consistency than existing national databases. This unique data resource will underpin all of our own analyses and will also be available to land protection organizations, whether land trusts or government agencies, to help guide their work.
Learn about the history of Farms Under Threat.