YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Texas farmland, ranchland under threat
By Gary Joiner
A recent report by American Farmland Trust (AFT) outlines what Texas farmers and ranchers already sensed.
Some of our state’s most productive and versatile farmland and ranchland is being lost. It’s being paved over, fragmented or compromised.
AFT’s research shows if current trends continue, by 2040, as many as 2.19 million acres of Texas farmland and ranchland may be converted.
That is the equivalent of losing 11,904 farms, $479 million in farm output and 26,221 jobs based on county averages. AFT says 73% of the conversion will occur on the state’s best agricultural land.
The highest-threatened areas are those properties surrounding metro areas. Think Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and other metro areas across the state.
It continues a national trend. From 2001-2016, the U.S. lost or compromised 2,000 acres of farmland and ranchland every day.
And the trend could accelerate further. High housing prices in metro areas, new opportunities for remote work and estate settlements of farmland owners are all contributing to higher losses of productive land.
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.
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