A bill in Indiana would ask the department of agriculture to explore lost land and causes
By Diego Flammini
An Indiana lawmaker wants to know how much farmland his state has lost in the last 12 years.
State Rep. Kendell Culp’s (R-Rensselaer) bill, House Bill 1577, passed unanimously through the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
His bill calls for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to examine how many acres of farmland the state has lost between 2010 and 2022, and to report on why the losses occurred.
If passed, the state ag department would have to submit a report by July 1, 2024 that would also include legislation recommendations to protect farmland.
"Prime farmland continues to be developed for other purposes, which undermines global food security, local food systems and the environment," Culp said in a statement. "As the nation's breadbasket, Indiana benefits greatly from agricultural prosperity. With Indiana continuing to grow in terms of population and advancements, we must take stock of our valuable farmland and make sure we continue to protect this great asset."
Indiana has lost 831,000 acres of farmland between 1982 and 2012, the department of agriculture reports.
That’s an average of 27,700 acres per year.
The U.S. has lost 24 million acres during the same timeframe, or about 800,000 acres per year.
Farms.com has contacted industry groups in Indiana for comment on the bill.