The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to invest $350 million to maintain land for agricultural production.
Through the USDA’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, eligible land owners can voluntarily sell easements on their property that limit rights to future development of the land. The programme is meant to prevent conversion of working farmland to non-agricultural uses and preserve natural resources and wildlife habitats.
According to a USDA press release, the programme purchased more than 750 easements on more than 250,000 acres of farmland, grassland and wetlands in the US in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 for a total cost of around $600 million.
“USDA is committed to preserving working agricultural lands to help protect the long-term viability of farming across the country,” said US Agricultural Secretary, Tom Vilsack in a statement.