Indiana Loses Nearly 350,000 Acres of Farmland Between 2010-2022

Back in 2023, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1557, tasking the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to complete an inventory of lost farmland in Indiana from 2010-2022.

ISDA released that data Monday. Director Don Lamb says that, unsurprisingly, the data does show a loss of Indiana farmland during those years.

“We show that we’ve lost about 1.89% of our farmland in that time, which is somewhere around 345,000-350,000 acres. So, it’s not an insignificant number…What they asked us to do is really come up with a baseline. You know, we make a lot of assumptions about farmland loss, and we look around and we see it going away, so we make assumptions. But we really didn’t know what that meant to us in numbers. So, that was the goal of this project, was to get that baseline established. And we think we’ve done that.”

ISDA compiled the report using data from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance and USDA. 2023 data from USDA shows 14.6 million acres of farmland being operated currently in Indiana.

Also unsurprising, Lamb says the primary cause of reduction in farmland was due to residential use.

“And if you look at the map of where it is, it’s around the urban areas. And, of course, that follows jobs, that follows businesses. So, a business may take up a little bit of the land, and then it takes quite a bit of land in housing to provide the workers for that business. And so, as you would expect, around the urban areas is where most of that growth has taken place.”

ISDA outlined several recommendations within the report to the Legislative Council, including that legislation be passed directing ISDA to update the inventory of lost farmland every five years to have more accurate data.

Click here to view the full 2010 to 2022 report or narrative. Hear the full HAT interview with ISDA Director Lamb below.

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