Rapid conversion of non-cropped acres to cropland.
Recently released USDA Farm Service Agency data demonstrates a rapid conversion of non-cropland to cropland. Center for Rural Affairs analysis of the 2012 data reveals the importance of inclusion of a national Sodsaver provision in the Farm Bill that would help address the significant loss of grasslands by ratcheting down subsidized crop insurance on cropland converted from native prairie.
To view full copies of the USDA Farm Service Agency Data go to:
According to information released by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), in 2012 they began collecting data, for the first time, on “new land broken out” or “new breakings,” referring to land that is part of a farm operation that was not in the prior year classified as “cropland,” which includes land that is currently being cropped and land that was cropped at some time in the past and is still capable of being cropped.
Although this definition includes land other than native grassland (i.e. woodlands or land underlying and surrounding an old farmhouse or out-building that is converted to cropland), it does exclude pasture and wooded land that was previously cropped. Therefore, the data on “new land broken out” relates directly to and more closely approximates native grasslands covered by the Sodsaver provision in the Senate Farm Bill than any other data available.