Small Texas farms disappearing
POSTED: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 6:09pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - 5:16pm
Tyler, TX (KETK) — The Texas landscape is changing as cities continue to increase in population, and small farms are purchased in order to expand these city limits. According to the Texas A&M Institute, small and midsize farms across Texas are shrinking at a rate of 250,000 acres per year.
This does not mean that farming is on the decline, but rather the land itself is being bought and included into larger farms. KETK spoke with Mark Chamblee from the Texas Farm Bureau, who said, "You may see some of the smaller farms going away, but they're being incorporated by people who are adjacent, that are buying up that agricultural land and keeping it in production".
Nationally 98% of the agricultural land in the United States is owned by family farms. However, there are recent incentives that promote the selling of this land. These include increased land values and unpredictable weather patterns. Downsizing or old age also contribute.
The areas in Texas most affected by this are Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. According to Realtor Carroll Bobo from Bobo Realty, East Texas has not experienced this shift in small farms. He believes they are here to stay, "I don't see them going anywhere. I think it's more of a change in hands than it is going away. And changing the use of it somewhat too". This means that while ownership of the farms may change, they are still being used for agricultural or cattle purposes.