Private Agricultural Land Base by Producing Areas for Year 2000

R. Thamodaran, Burton C. English, Earl O. Heady
August 1982  [82-WP 4]

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Thamodaran, R., B.C. English, and E.O. Heady. 1982. "Private Agricultural Land Base by Producing Areas for Year 2000." Working paper 82-WP 4. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


A prime resource in the production of agriculture commodities is land. Individuals throughout the United States have become increasingly concerned over the loss of agricultural land to nonagricultural purposes such as urban sprawl, roads and airports facilities and mining etc. Reduction in the agricultural land base due to urban expansion and other nonagricultural uses could result in less agricultural production unless the reduced land base is compensated by other resources in production. Over time, two viewpoints on this issue have surfaced, one group feels the reduction of agricultural land will be a definite threat to agriculture in the future Because once a piece of land is converted for urban build-up or any other use; chances of reclaiming that land to agricultural production are slim. Another group feels that the conversion rate of agricultural land to other uses is not significant enough to affect future agricultural production With increasing research on crop genetics and resource substitutions, compensation for the loss of land can occur. Few studies have been carried out at regional or at national levels that determine the extent of loss of land and its effect on agricultural production. The objective of this study is to estimate the loss of agricultural land in years ahead. These estimates will be incorporated in the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development linear programming models or right-hand-sides. They will serve as production restraints on the agricultural system.