Smart growth and investment in America’s downtowns and main streets must occur now to secure the land that grows our food, according to American Farmland Trust. The organization Wednesday released its new report, Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future and the accompanying web mapping tool. AFT research shows Americans are paving over agricultural land at a rapid pace.
From 2001-16, the nation lost or compromised 2,000 acres of farmland and ranchland every day. The report shows the U.S. is on track to convert 18 million acres of farmland and ranchland from 2016-40—an area the size of South Carolina. And it could get worse.
If rural sprawl accelerates, America could squander one million acres of agricultural land every year and over 24 million by 2040. But if Americans choose a better path—embrace smart growth and minimize sprawl—they can save up to 13.5 million acres of the nation’s farmland. Find the full report at farmland.org.