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Cropland

The Snider family brings in hay.Cropland includes areas used for the production of adapted crops for harvest. Two subcategories of cropland are recognized: cultivated and non-cultivated. Cultivated cropland comprises land in row crops or close-grown crops and also other cultivated cropland, such as hay land or pastureland that is in a rotation with row or close-grown crops. Non-cultivated cropland includes permanent hay land and horticultural cropland.

Cropland acreage in the US increased by about 4.6 million acres from 2012 to 2015 according to the 2015 National Resources Inventory.  It had steadily declined since the inventory began in 1982 up until 2007. Since 2007, it has increased every year.  Most of the gain came from land coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program with some cropland converted to pasture, counterbalanced by losses of cropland to development and other rural land.

It is the NRCS role to provide national leadership and technical assistance for the conservation of our natural resources to ensure the continued production of food and fiber.

Major natural resource concerns facing cropland include: (1) erosion by wind and water, (2) maintaining and enhancing soil quality, (3) water quality from nutrient and pesticides runoff and leaching, and (4) managing the quantity of water available for irrigation.

For more information on cropland go to our national web page.