Searching for farmland preservation markets: Evidence from the Southeastern U.S.

Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Barry J. Barnett, John C. Bergstrom, Bethany Lavigno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Farmland preservation is a topic of much discussion in many areas of the United States, but of little action. Only 1.6 million acres of U.S. farmland are permanently protected nationwide, a number not too different from some estimates of annual losses of farmland to development. While a number of studies have estimated the non-market benefits of preserved farmland (cf. Wichelns, D., Kline, J.D., 1993. The impact of parcel characteristics on the cost of development rights. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 22 (October) 150-158), this study is the first to focus on the potential for a market for farmland preservation. Using primary data collected from farmers and citizens specifically to address this issue, we estimate the supply of and demand for farmland for preservation. Separate models are estimated for both privately and publicly run preservation programs. Demand is estimated under private-voluntary, public-voluntary, and public-mandatory scenarios. The results show that both public and private programs can be successful. The market capable of preserving the most acres is a tax-funded, state-run program which could permanently preserve over 200,000 acres in 5 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Farmland preservation
  • Markets
  • Private
  • Public

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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