In 2019, Connecticut preserved 773 acres of agricultural land. This is less than the 1,378 acres preserved in 2018 and less than the 10-year annual average of approximately 1,270 acres.
The cumulative acreage preserved by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAG), which began preserving land by purchasing development rights in 1978, has increased slowly over the last 10 years. In 2011, DoAG launched the Community Farms Preservation Program as a pilot for farms that do not meet all eligibility requirements of the longstanding farmland preservation program but are nonetheless worthy of preservation. (The acreage preserved since 2014 include both programs.) The average rate of farmland preservation since 2014 has been 1,370 acres per year.
Council projections prepared in 2019 indicate that the goal of preserving 130,000 acres could be reached by 2050 at an annual preservation rate of approximately 2,735 acres per year as depicted in the chart (right).
Earth Day Retrospective: Since 1985 Connecticut has lost over 87,000 acres of farmland. The chart (below) depicts the estimated cumulative farmland acreage in Connecticut through 2015 and the acreage potentially available for preservation based on the average rate of farmland loss over the last 30 years (-2.85%). The rate of farmland loss may change as development pressure increases or as demand for locally produced food and materials increase.
Goal: The Connecticut Department of Agriculture adopted a farmland preservation goal 130,000 acres in total, with at least 85,000 acres in cropland that originally was based on the amount of land needed for food production to sustain Connecticut's population.