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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #250451

Title: Agricultural land use change in the Northeast

item Goslee, Sarah

Submitted to: Extension Fact Sheets
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/21/2010
Publication Date: 1/21/2010
Citation: Goslee, S.C. 2010. Agricultural land use change in the Northeast. Extension Fact Sheets. p.1.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: The USDA Census of Agriculture ( provides county-level estimates of farm numbers, land use area and livestock and crop production every five years. In 2007, only eight of the 299 counties that make up the twelve Northeastern states had no agricultural land use. About 20% of the Northeast's land area is used for agriculture; 5% is pasture and 10% harvested cropland. Other uses include fallow cropland and orchard. The Northeast has lost total agricultural area at the same rate as the United States as a whole from 1997 to 2007, but has lost pasture area at over twice the rate. Urbanization, abandonment and changing to another agricultural use all contribute to loss of pasture area, shifting in response to changing economic and social pressures.