Sprawl, low-density development contribute to Idaho's farmland loss

Low-density residential development continues to contribute substantially to the loss of farm and pasture land in Idaho.  Continuation of recent development patterns in the state will result in losing, fragmenting or otherwise compromising 113,100 acres of farm and ranch land by 2040, the American Farmland Trust said in its “Farms Under Threat” 2040 report.That is roughly equivalent to losing 700 farms, $72 million in farm output and 1,500 jobs. And 83% of conversions are expected on some of the state’s best agricultural land.  Farmland loss in Idaho will be 29.3% higher by 2040, up to 146,300 acres, if “runaway sprawl” prevails in contrast to recent business as usual, the trust said.