YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
No easy solutions for land fragmentation
By Gene Hall
A report from Texas A&M shows the Lone Star State lost over 1 million acres of private farms, ranches and forests in the last 15 years.
The reason? A surging population. Most of the loss comes from farms and ranches surrounding the state’s 25 highest growth counties.
This is all bad, right? Depends on which side of the fence you’re standing.
Population growth means demand for homes and services. Land values skyrocket. Farmers can’t afford to buy land by the square foot to expand their farms. And in many cases, they can’t afford not to sell.
You can’t deny the farmer the right to sell his land. But you can offer him a reason to stay.
This is where land trusts come in. Conservation easements with financial incentives to keep the land in agriculture.
Private land is important for growing food, water conservation and wildlife habitat. It’s complicated–but keeping private property in agriculture is good for all of Texas.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
You may read this week’s editorial above or listen to the audio version.
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