This tables shows the "Top Ten" states in terms of the loss of prime farmland to development. The first column shows the top ten in terms of average annual loss of prime farmland acreage to development between 1992 and 1997. The second column shows the top ten in terms of the percentage of total developed land in 1997 that was prime farmland in 1992. Developed land includes urban and built-up areas and rural transportation land.
Source: National Resources Inventory, 1997
NRI sample data are generally reliable at the 95% confidence interval for state and certain broad substate area analyses. Generally, analyses that aggregate data points by smaller geographic areas and/or more specific criteria result in fewer data points for each aggregation and therefore less reliable estimates. NRI maps reflect national patterns rather than site- specific information.
A combination of land cover/use categories, Urban and built-up areas, and Rural Transportation Land.
Land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and is also available for these uses. It has the soil quality, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce economically sustained high yields of crops when treated and managed according to acceptable farming methods, including water management. In general, prime farmlands have an adequate and dependable water supply from precipitation or irrigation, a favorable temperature and growing season, acceptable acidity or alkalinity, acceptable salt and sodium content, and few or no rocks. They are permeable to water and air. Prime farmlands are not excessively erodible or saturated with water for a long period of time, and they either do not flood frequently or are protected from flooding.[SSM, USDA Handbook No. 18, October 1993]
Rural transportation land:
A Land Cover/Use category which consists of all highways, roads, railroads and associated rights- of-way outside urban and built-up areas; including private roads to farmsteads or ranch headquarters, logging roads, and other private roads, except field lanes. [NRI-97]
Urban and built-up areas:
A Land Cover/Use category consisting of residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional land; construction sites; public administrative sites; railroad yards; cemeteries; airports; golf courses; sanitary landfills; sewage treatment plants; water control structures and spillways; other land used for such purposes; small parks (less than 10 acres) within urban and built-up areas; and highways, railroads, and other transportation facilities if they are surrounded by urban areas. Also included are tracts of less than 10 acres that do not meet the above definition but are completely surrounded by Urban and Built-up land. Two size categories are recognized in the NRI: (i) areas 0.25 to 10 acres, and (ii) areas greater than 10 acres. [NRI-97]
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Production Date: 12/19/00
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