Ohio Farm Numbers, Land in Farms, and Agricultural Land Lost to Development

By: Professor Ani Katchova, Farm Income Enhancement Chair and PhD students Xiaoyi Fang and Rae Ju in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) at the Ohio State University.

Click here to access the pdf version of the report.

According to the Census of Agriculture, the number of farms in Ohio decreased from 77,797 farms in 2002 to 76,009 farms in 2022, a decrease of 2.3% over the 20-year period.  Land in farms in Ohio decreased from 14,583,435 acres in 2002 to 13,652,346 acres in 2022, leading to a loss of 931,089 acres between 2002 and 2022, representing a 6.4% decrease.

According to the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) of the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium using satellite imagery data (https://www.mrlc.gov/eva/), 355,085 acres in agricultural land (cultivated crops and pasture/hay) were lost in Ohio from 2001 to 2021. Specifically, 180,691 acres of agricultural land in Ohio was lost to development, which represents 51% of the agricultural land loss being attributed to development from 2001 to 2021.

Counties located in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) had among the largest percentage declines in farm numbers (by about 35%) and land in farms (by about 35% to 65%) and among the highest percentages of agricultural land lost to development (above 65%) across the state of Ohio.


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