Organic Consumers Association

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Report: America Is Losing Its Best Farmland

The United States is losing its best farmland to development, even as the country’s population booms, according to a new report from the nonprofit conservation organization American Farmland Trust.

It’s a familiar sight for anyone who grew up in many Bay Area suburbs: The rolling pastureland or local fruit farms that once were on the outskirts of town have been replaced by a housing development or strip mall.

According to the American Farmland Trust, the United States lost almost 31 million acres, or 3.2 percent of its total farmland, from 1992 to 2012. California, which is responsible for one-eighth of the country’s farm production, lost an estimated 1.3 million acres of agricultural land to development during the same time period as both the state and the U.S. population increased by 22 percent.

 

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