Every state saw rural land developed from 2007 to 2010, regardless of statewide increases or decreases in farmland, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Agri-Pulse reports, "All 19 states with land-in-farms increases in the 2012 census also developed 'significant acres of rural land,' according to the AFT."Russ Shay, director of public policy at the Land Trust Alliance, told Agri-Pulse, “This is a crisis, but it’s a quiet crisis. We lose farmland one farm at a time. We lose primarily smaller farms. People don’t see it.”
Most states have programs to encourage preservation of farmland, but there is no nationwide program. Agri-Pulse reports, "Through May 2013, 27 states had state-level purchase-of-agricultural-conservation-easement programs, protecting almost 2.4 million acres of farmland, according to the AFT Farmland Information Center’s report. . . . The 2014 Farm Bill may offer some hope in helping save the nation’s farmland. On May 1, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program, making $366 million in funds available to protect farmland through easements. And more hope lies in a tax-extenders bill currently under consideration in Congress, which increases the incentives for farmers and ranchers to enroll agricultural land in easements." Agri-Pulse is subscription only, but a free trial is available by clicking here.