Agriculture Adapts to Urbanization

The amount of U.S. farmland in metropolitan areas increased by nearly 50 percent between 1974 and 1982. Nearly 300 additional counties were redefined as metro as a result of the 1980 census (figure 1). This increasingly metropolitan character of the Nation presents both problems and opportunities for farmers in those areas. Metro areas now contain 16 percent of the total U.S. land area, 20 percent of all cropland, and 31 percent of all farms. The best farmland is actually more fully utilized in metro areas. That is, the percentage of prime farmland used for crop production is higher in metro areas than in nonmetro areas. Also, the percentage of land classified as prime farmland is slightly higher in metro areas than elsewhere. Urban growth certainly does not mean the end of agriculture in a given area. Urbanization does not usually take the best farmland. Farmers tend to intensify production on their best land, often changing crops and inputs, and exploiting new marketing and employment opportunities.

Issue Date:
Jan 01 1991
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Record Identifier:
Published in:
Food Review/ National Food Review, 14, 1
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 Record created 2017-12-15, last modified 2020-10-28

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