Boroughs with the most farmland in Alaska

Written by:
June 5, 2023

Boroughs with the most farmland in Alaska

Farmland across the U.S. is disappearing by the millions of acres each decade by some estimates as sprawling urban development driven by rising housing costs pushes further into rural pastures.

The farmland that still exists in the U.S. is heavily dedicated to growing plants that Americans can't consume—grass. That grass, accounting for more than 300 million acres now, feeds our livestock, provides sod for new development, and serves as a cover crop to protect soil health between harvests.

Demand for major crops like corn and soybeans to feed Americans is only forecast by the USDA to grow in the coming decade, and demand for U.S. agricultural exports is expected to grow similarly.

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way people purchased and consumed food, placing renewed attention on an increasingly consolidated agricultural industry where family farms have been swallowed up by large food corporations.

And after shifting behaviors caused massive economic swings in the U.S. and elsewhere, the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced food producers to once again account for yet another shock with so much of the world's grain capital taken offline by warfare.

War and corporate interests aside, farms have also had to reckon with a changing climate. Wheat fields were once commonplace across the country, but drought conditions of late have caused farmers to give up growing the crop entirely. Agitated by climate change, the shortage of water in parts of the country coupled with higher interest rates and the ongoing war in Ukraine are making agricultural businesses harder to run profitably.

To illustrate where American farms still persevere, Stacker compiled a list of boroughs with the most farmland in Alaska using data from the Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency. Farmers reported the data as mandated by participation in USDA income support programs, including Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage as well as loan assistance. Boroughs are ranked by total acres of farmland.

In Alaska, there are 92,718 acres of farmland, with native grass being the most common crop.

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#4. Fairbanks

- Farmland: 85 acres (.1% of state total)
- Farms: 8
- Most common crop: Fallow (44 acres, 52.2% of county farmland)

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#3. Palmer

- Farmland: 2,165 acres (2.3% of state total)
- Farms: 22
- Most common crop: Timothy grass (1,222 acres, 56.5% of county farmland)

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#2. Delta

- Farmland: 34,363 acres (37.1% of state total)
- Farms: 84
- Most common crop: Cp2 est perm native grasses (Conservation Reserve Program) (6,809 acres, 19.8% of county farmland)

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#1. Homer

- Farmland: 56,105 acres (60.5% of state total)
- Farms: 11
- Most common crop: Native grass (56,050 acres, 99.9% of county farmland)

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