Texas Rural Lands

In 2001,the Governor ’s Task Force on Conservation concluded that the fragmentation of large family-owned farms and ranches poses the greatest single threat to wildlife habitat and the long-term viability of agriculture in Texas.The task force recommended that Texas initiate a statewide private lands conservation program called a Purchase of Development Rights program.The Rural Land Fragmentation Project summarized here provides public and private leaders with the baseline data needed to develop and evaluate policies to slow the loss and fragmentation of farms,ranches and wildlife habitat in Texas.

In Texas,privately owned farms,ranches and forestlands account for 144 million acres or about 84 percent of the state.The percentage of private land in Texas is greater than in any other state.Since 1970 about 1,000 new farms and ranches have been established in Texas each year,even though the total area in farms and ranches has declined by almost 3 million acres over that time.About 78 percent of our farms and ranches are smaller than 500 acres and these account for 14 percent of the state ’s farm and ranch acreage.Only 6 percent of all farms and ranches exceed 2,000 acres, but these account for about 63 percent of Texas ’ farm and ranch acreage.

Downloadable Documents: 
Author: 
Neal Wilkins, Amy Hays, Dale Kubenka
Publisher: 
College Station, TX: Texas Cooperative Extension
Page Numbers: 
28
Publication Date: 
March 1, 2003
Literature Category: 
Reports and Studies