What is agricultural land and why is it decreasing

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Prices/rents rise when the supply of farmland on the market reduces. Landholders then put more land on the market – causing prices to fall. Conversely, land prices/rents fall when the demand for agricultural land declines because of falls in the returns from holding and using it.

Full
Answer

Why is the loss of agricultural land a problem?

Agricultural land is also being lost because it is being converted for other purposes, such as highways, housing and factories. This loss of land is a large issue for agriculture, because it will make it more difficult to produce enough food.

Where in the world is agricultural land declining?

The decline of agricultural land in much of the world (e.g., New Zealand, Mongolia, and Poland) hides significant agricultural expansion elsewhere (like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Argentina), as shown below. It shouldn’t be too surprising where most expansion is taking place; you have likely heard about palm oil in Indonesia and soy in South America.

What are the effects of agricultural development on farmland?

Development on farmland can have negative effects, removing land that animals use as a habitat. Well-operated farms care for the soil, air, and water, and produce viable ecosystems. Economically, the agricultural industry employs millions in all sorts of fields, from machinery to inputs to researchers to retailers to packagers.

Which states have the largest decreases in agricultural land?

Largest percentage decreases: Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts—four of the five reported double-digit percentage decreases Little change in share of land devoted to agriculture: Land in farms hovers at 40 percent of the nation’s land area

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Is agricultural land increasing or decreasing?

The share of land used for agriculture has been slowly increasing across most of the world’s regions over the past few decades.


Is agricultural production decreasing?

The growth rate in agricultural production in developing countries declined from an average of 3.56 percent in the 2000s to 2.37 percent in the 2010s. A decrease in the rate of TFP growth was responsible for most of this decline.


What is agricultural decline?

The number of U.S. farms continues to decline slowly In the most recent survey, there were 2.02 million U.S. farms in 2020, down from 2.20 million in 2007. With 897 million acres of land in farms in 2020, the average farm size was 444 acres, only slightly greater than the 440 acres recorded in the early 1970s.


Has farmland decreased?

Land in farms declined from 914,527,657 acres in 2012 to 900,217,576 acres in 2017, while the number of farms and “primary producers” decreased from 2,109,303 in 2012 to 2,042,220 in 2017. This news has serious implications for food production, our environment, and the next generation of farmers.


What affects agriculture?

Environmental factors that influence the extent of crop agriculture are terrain, climate, soil properties, and soil water. It is the combination of these four factors that allow specific crops to be grown in certain areas.


Is agricultural productivity slowing?

Available data suggest that growth rates in agricultural land, labor and inputs in total have been steadily slowing over time, leading to accelerated growth rates in their average productivities.


What are the causes of agricultural decline?

Some reasons for this situation are as follows:Population Pressure: … Uneconomic Holdings: … Uncertain Monsoons and Inadequate Irrigation Facilities: … Subsistence Nature of Farming: … Decline in Soil Fertility: … Lack of Support Services: … Poor Organisation of Resourdces and Lack of Entrepreneurship:


Is the agriculture industry dying?

“We have seen a 30-year decline in almost every single metric. They’re all bad. The number of jobs lost, the average net income down 45 percent since 2013. There’s no news here.


When did farming decline?

Between 1950 and 1970, the number of farm declined by half before leveling off. More farms were consolidated or sold during this period than in any other period in our history. The number of people on farms dropped from over 20 million in 1950 to less than 10 million in 1970.


What is the reason for the change in land use?

The possible forces driving land-use and land-cover changes can be grouped into six categories: population; level of aMuence; technology; political economy; political structure; and attitudes and values (e.g., Turner and Meyer 1991; Stern et al. 1992).


How much farmland are we losing?

More than 31 million acres of U.S. agricultural land have been irrevocably lost to urban expansion since 1982 and an additional 175 acres of farm and ranchland are lost every hour to make way housing and other industries. The land that is being lost is some of the most productive agricultural land in the country.


How fast are we losing farmland?

More than an acre of farmland is lost per minute in the United States, with about 1 million acres being developed annually, according to a new federal report.


What is agricultural land?

Agricultural land is typically land devoted to agriculture, the systematic and controlled use of other forms of life —particularly the rearing of livestock and production of crops —to produce food for humans. It is generally synonymous with both farmland or cropland, as well as pasture or rangeland . The United Nations Food and Agriculture …


Why is agricultural land protected?

In some areas, agricultural land is protected so that it can be farmed without any threat of development. The Agricultural Land Reserve in British Columbia in Canada, for instance, requires approval from its Agricultural Land Commission before its lands can be removed or subdivided.


What is cropland in agriculture?

The land actually under annually-replanted crops in any given year is instead said to constitute ” sown land ” or ” cropped land “. “Permanent cropland” includes forested plantations used to harvest coffee, rubber, or fruit but not tree farms or proper forests used for wood or timber. Land able to be used for farming is called “cultivable land”.


Why is pasture decreasing?

Globally, the total amount of permanent pasture according to the FAO has been in decline since 1998, in part due to a decrease of wool production in favor of synthetic fibers (such as polyester) and cotton.


What is the land used for farming called?

Land able to be used for farming is called “cultivable land “. Farmland, meanwhile, is used variously in reference to all agricultural land, to all cultivable land, or just to the newly restricted sense of “arable land”. Depending upon its use of artificial irrigation, the FAO’s “agricultural land” may be divided into irrigated …


What is permanent pasture?

permanent pastures: natural or artificial grasslands and shrublands able to be used for grazing livestock. This sense of “agricultural land” thus includes a great deal of land not devoted to agricultural use. The land actually under annually-replanted crops in any given year is instead said to constitute ” sown land ” or ” cropped land “.


Does the decrease of permanent pasture account for gross conversion?

The decrease of permanent pasture, however, does not account for gross conversion (e.g. land extensively cleared for agriculture in some areas, while converted from agriculture to other uses elsewhere) and more detailed analyses have demonstrated this.


Why is there less land needed to feed the same number of people?

Also, much less land is needed now to feed the same number of people because improvements in fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, seeds, and weather forecasting allow more food to be grown per acre, and improvements in harvesting, packaging, storage, and transportation allow more of what is grown to get to the dinner table.


What was used to grow farm animals in 1900?

In 1900 most of the horsepower used on the farm was really horse power, or mule power, and tens of millions of acres were needed to grow the food for these animals. Trucks, tractors, harvesters, and other gasoline-powered farm machinery have efficiently substituted for these animals and the acres needed to feed them.


Is the loss of farmland a crisis?

But this “loss” of farmland is not a crisis or even a cause for concern. Instead, it is good news. First, with less land being used for farming, more land has reverted to open space and forest. You won’t hear this from the crisis crowd, but there is more forestland in the United States now than 80 years ago. [ 3] .


Is golf more valuable than food?

Golfers are communicating through greens fees that another golf course is at least as valuable as the additional food sacrificed. At the margin, golf is certainly more valuable than food would be if millions of acres of farmland had not been “lost” to development.


Where is the decline of agriculture?

The decline of agricultural land in much of the world (e.g., New Zealand, Mongolia, and Poland) hides significant agricultural expansion elsewhere (like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Argentina), as shown below.


Why is increasing crop yields and livestock density important?

While increasing crop yields and livestock density is important for reducing the pressure to clear more habitat, TNC is also working around the world to achieve that in ways that also result in better environmental outcomes in terms of soil health, water use, and water quality.


Why is the Nature Conservancy important?

This is why The Nature Conservancy has been emphasizing the sustainable intensification of agriculture wherever possible. If we can’t produce more food on existing farms and ranches (while simultaneously reducing environmental inputs and impacts), we can expect that even more habitat will be cleared in the future.


How much more food will we need by 2050?

When you consider that we will need 70% more food by 2050 (assuming that we don’t make serious progress in reducing waste, slowing population growth, or halting the increase in consumption of animal products, FAO 2011) it’s hard to feel hopeful about the future.


Is agriculture sustainable?

Overall, agriculture has a long way to go to become truly sustainable. The levels of intensification which have happened to date are not sufficient to meet the projected demand for food by 2050, and in some places crop yields have stopped increasing (Ray et al. 2013). The global trend masks local and regional trends.


Is intensification sustainable?

And intensification is sometimes a process that can be made environmentally sustainable, by reducing both the use of resource-intensive inputs (e.g., fertilizer, pesticides, and fresh water) and negative outputs (e.g., water pollution and soil loss).


What is the future of agriculture?

The future of the agricultural industry hinges on the ability to attract younger farmers and to keep current farms in production. This is not an easy process, especially if the farm is going to be passed down from one generation to the next in the same family, without land sales to fiance retirement and debt recovery.


How many acres of land were lost in 2015?

Closer to home USDA estimates that both Alabama and Georgia lost 100,000 acres last year, and 50,000 acres were lost in Florida in 2015. The US farming base has shrunk 7% in eight years, yet the world population is continuously growing. The number of farms has also declined over the past eight years by an estimated 117,500 farms.


Why should we produce more?

dollar, and weak economies in China and other major export markets U.S. farms are dealing three years of low farm income . Current farm policies are primarily aimed at producing inexpensive food and providing a safety net to keep farms in business during periods of weather disasters, but more attention has to be placed on consistent income to keep farms going for generations. Farmers should not be paid just to farm, but policies are needed to keep average farm family income equal to or higher than non-farm family incomes. If we want future generations to take an interest in farming, there has to be better opportunity to be financially successful.


What is the world population expected to reach by 2044?

As you can see from the chart above, the U.S. Census Bureau is currently predicting that the world population will actually reach 9 billion by 2044. The United States is one of the world leaders in …


Why are farm policies important?

Current farm policies are primarily aimed at producing inexpensive food and providing a safety net to keep farms in business during periods of weather disasters, but more attention has to be placed on consistent income to keep farms going for generations.


Is the agricultural industry a major challenge?

The bottom line is that everyone associated with the agricultural industry has a major challenge ahead. The world population is growing, farm acreage is shrinking, and fewer people are willing to take the risk to spend a lifetime farming.


Should farmers be paid to farm?

Farmers should not be paid just to farm, but policies are needed to keep average farm family income equal to or higher than non-farm family incomes. If we want future generations to take an interest in farming, there has to be better opportunity to be financially successful.


Why does the housing market produce sprawl?

Second, the housing market produces sprawl because suburbs are profitable to develop and house buyers want to live out rather than in. If we want to stop sprawl, we would have to forbid farmers from selling to developers, forbid developers from developing farmland or have public agencies buy it.


What brought most of this “new” acreage into play?

Ethanol-based corn brought most of this “new” acreage into play. We don’t know how much lost farmland is sold into development because the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service did not have the funds to continue this tracking through its National Resources Inventory in recent years.


How many acres did Virginia lose in 2008?

Despite losing more than 100,000 acres in 2008, Virginia farms produced more of its other 16 crops. Embedded in the overall loss of U.S. farmland is a counter trend, namely that harvested cropland acres increased from 302.7 million acres to 309.6 million in the 2002-2007 period. Ethanol-based corn brought most of this “new” acreage into play.


How much does John Deere make an hour?

He’s quoted as never having made as much as $20 an hour as a full-time farmer. He, like many other farmers, is cash poor and land rich. His 400 acres of pasture and cropland might bring $4,000 an acre if sold to a farmer for farming, but it would fetch at least two or three times that if sold to developer for housing.


Will we have no farmland in the next 310 years?

At the extreme, were America to lose 3 million acres each year for the next 310 years, we will finally have no farmland at all . More likely is that agricultural technologies will continue to improve production efficiency and less land will be required to produce an increasing amount of output.

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Overview


Area

Under the FAO’s definitions above, agricultural land covers 38.4% of the world’s land area as of 2011. Permanent pastures are 68.4% of all agricultural land (26.3% of global land area), arable land (row crops) is 28.4% of all agricultural land (10.9% of global land area), and permanent crops (e.g. vineyards and orchards) are 3.1% (1.2% of global land area).


The agricultural land market

Prices and rents for agricultural land depend on supply and demand.
Prices/rents rise when the supply of farmland on the market reduces. Landholders then put more land on the market – causing prices to fall. Conversely, land prices/rents fall when the demand for agricultural land declines because of falls in the returns from holding and using it. The immediate triggers for falls in land demand might be reductions in the demand for farm produce or in relev…


Russia

The cost of Russian farmland is as little as €1,500–€2,000 (£1,260–£1,680) per hectare (ha) (£1,260–£1,680). This is comparatively inexpensive. Poor-quality farmland in France and Spain is sold at no lower than €10,000/ha.
The average Russian farm measures 150 hectares (370 acres). The most prevalent crops in Russia are wheat, barley, corn, rice, sugar beet, soy beans, sunflower, potatoes and vegetables. Russi…


Ukraine

In 2013, Ukraine was ranked third in corn production and sixth in wheat production. It was the main supplier of corn, wheat, and rape to Europe, although it is unclear whether the internal supply from countries like France were accounted in this calculation. Ukrainian farmers achieve 60% of the output per unit area of their North American competitors. UkrLandFarming PLC produces, from 650,000 hectares (1.6m acres), corn, wheat, barley, sugar beet, and sunflowers. Until 2014, the c…


United States

Prime farmland in Illinois is valued, as of August 2018, at $26,000 a hectare. Average cropland value in the Midwest according to 2020 data from the US Department of Agriculture is $4,607 per acre (about $11,000 per hectare).


See also

• English land law
• Farmer
• Land grabbing


External links

• Media related to Agricultural land at Wikimedia Commons

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