ca.gov

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Office of Environmental Farming & Innovation

Benefits of Farmland Conservation in California


California's farmland offers multiple benefits in addition to agricultural production. In recent years, farmland conservation has been recognized as an important potential climate change mitigation strategy because of the potential to capture carbon in agricultural soils and the recognition that greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural lands are significantly less than emissions from urban development. The Air Resources Board, in the 2014 Update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan, encouraged interagency coordination in regards to farmland conservation in addition to an enhanced local government effort to incorporate farmland conservation into regional planning.

In support of ongoing statewide efforts to conserve California's valuable farmland, CDFA prepared a whitepaper to demonstrate the need and summarize the multiple benefits that can result from conserving farmland. The whitepaper focuses on the climate benefits that can be achieved through farmland conservation as well as the food security concerns that may result as climate change influences global food production. The whitepaper, Benefits of Farmland Conservation in California, can be found here (PDF).

For questions please contact Carolyn Cook, Sr. Environmental Scientist, at carolyn.cook@cdfa.ca.gov

Statewide Efforts to
Conserve Farmland

California's Strategic Growth Council was appropriated funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for local communities to invest in planning that protects valuable agricultural land, to permanently protect land with agricultural easements, and to incentivize farmers for practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more, visit the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program Overview on the Strategic Growth Council's website.