Two Million Acres of American Farm Land Lost in 2022

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published a report revealing that American farmers lost two million acres of land in 2022, equal to the size of Delaware, plus an additional 466,000 acres. The report highlights an alarming trend in the agricultural sector as farmers struggle to retain their landholdings.

Several Factors Contribute to Loss of Farm Land

The USDA report attributes the loss of land to several factors, including urbanization, climate change, and declining profitability. As cities continue to grow and expand, farmland is often gobbled up for residential or commercial uses, limiting farmers’ land options for producing food and fiber. Additionally, recent droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events present challenges for farmers and ranchers in their efforts to maintain crop and livestock production. Additionally, declining farm, ranch and dairy profitability has created a more challenging business and economic environment for farmers and ranchers, making it harder for them to maintain their landholdings, as they struggle to make ends meet in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

The Bigger Picture

The loss of farmland is a significant concern, as it has implications for the broader economy and environment. Agriculture is a vital sector of the economy, providing jobs and food security for millions of Americans. Furthermore, farmland plays a critical role in maintaining biodiversity and protecting the environment, while also conserving natural resources, including soil, water, and wildlife habitats.

USDA Call to Action

The USDA report calls for urgent action to address the loss of farmland and to support farmers in maintaining their landholdings. The report recommends several strategies, including the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices, the expansion of conservation programs, and the provision of financial support for struggling farmers. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has long advocated the revitalization of rural America,

It is Up to Us – We The People

Protect The Harvest finds this report alarming and we agree that it is part of a disturbing trend that harms farmers, American families and jeopardizes national security. While steps need to be taken by government and business leaders, we are reminded that “we the people” must also be taking steps at the local levels by getting involved in our communities and communicating with our elected representatives.

We urge you to become involved in your community and learn more by checking out our Protecting Our Lifestyle and Livelihood resource on our website under the “Get Involved” heading. Together, we can preserve the American agricultural system that feeds and clothes our nation, and much of the world.

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