Pressure on Agriculture from Urban Sprawl

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Suburbia continues to put pressure on agricultural producers particularly in a state like Texas where agriculture is such an important part of the economy. More than one thousand people move to Texas every day, and many feel that growth is on a collision course with the agricultural community. Tyler Jacobs ranches in Montgomery County.

“The urban sprawl as it’s called is a challenge, and in a hot economy the land that gets gobbled up the fastest is the cheapest to develop which is our tillable land. And that’s a reality that I deal with every day.”

Jacobs is also in the real estate business helping people buy and sell farms and ranches.

“When will urban sprawl push us out? My family’s gone through that twice actually, so our original family ranch is under Lake Conroe now. The second ranch that my grandfather replaced that one with is part of The Woodlands, Texas now. And so this is the third generation of his land ownership in reality because of urban sprawl. We’re fortunate. We’ve got some big neighbors here and I feel like we’ve got a little bit of protection.”

Jacobs says that with the urbanization of our land and culture it’s easy to be negative about agriculture.

“Yet we’ve got farms in Texas that regularly are making two-hundred bushel corn and we’ve got ranchers that are managing to make a profit nearly every year and we’ve got all these other new industries in agriculture that are growing and so it’s also easy to be excited about agriculture. Will we run out of land? Maybe. But I never thought that Iowa corn land would bring fourteen thousand dollars an acre either. And it has regularly now for about four or five years. So there is a marketplace for productive land and I think there always will be.”