Farmers, land managers, and policy makers are greatly concerned over the loss of natural resources as land use change occurs. In this context, although a number of national datasets on agriculture and land use have been developed over the past decades, nationally consistent, high resolution spatial data on farmland location and change have been unavailable.
American Farmland Trust and Conservation Science Partners worked together to generate the “Farms Under Threat: the State of America’s Farmlands” (SAF) data and map products. The SAF program provides critical information to evaluate trends and patterns of agricultural lands in multiple ways by:
- including a new class of agricultural lands that estimates woodlands associated with farm enterprises;
- mapping grazing on federal lands;
- accounting for effects of low-density residential development on agricultural lands;
- showing the spatial patterns of agricultural land uses and conversion to development in a consistent way over time so that people can see the patterns of change; and
- identifying agricultural lands based on their productivity, versatility and resiliency to support intensive food and crop production (i.e., ‘PVR’ values for lands).
This report provides technical documentation to support the methods, results, and key data products developed for the SAF effort.