Among the critical issues faced by Washington’s farmers and ranchers in the years ahead will be access to land. As the population of our state continues to grow, the cost of land is likely to continue rising. Already many farmers are finding themselves unable to afford to expand their operations. New farmers are finding it difficult to enter farming. And some find it necessary to sell land for development or other non-agricultural uses.
Much of this upward pressure on the price of agricultural land is driven by competition from land uses other than agriculture. How serious is this problem? How widespread within the agriculture
industry in Washington? What impacts is it already having on our industry and what effect is it likely to have in the years ahead? What, if anything, might we be able to do about it?
This paper is designed to provide some of the basic statistical information that will help us answer those questions.