Roughly a third of Florida’s land is currently in agriculture, but development and, to a much lesser degree, sea level rise are projected to result in the loss of about 120 acres of agricultural land a day – or almost 45,000 acres a year – between now and 2070.

Photo Credit: Carlton Ward Jr /Wildpath

The loss of as much as 2.2 million acres of agricultural land over the coming decades will impact the important contributions provided by agriculture to Florida’s economy and quality of life and threaten the conservation values that many of these lands provide.

According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS), the direct economic contributions of the agriculture, natural resource, and food industries in 2019 included $106 billion in sales and 1,279,638 jobs.

Florida’s agricultural lands also provide essential ecosystem services including protecting water supply and quality, providing flood control, supporting climate resilience, sequestering carbon, harboring wildlife, promoting outdoor recreation, and more.

Agriculture 2040/2070 is intended to shed light on the significant threats facing these lands, and what can be done to lessen impacts over the coming decades.

A GIS-based analysis undertaken by the University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning, this study explores possible impacts of development and sea level rise on Florida’s agricultural lands and their conservation values. Building on the earlier Sea Level 2040/2070 study, it incorporates more comprehensive data on agriculture.

Population Growth

By 2040, a 23% increase in population, with 4.9 million more residents than 2019

By 2070, a 57% increase in population, with 12.2 million more residents than 2019

Sea Level Rise

By 2040, 1 million acres of land lost to inundation, including almost 7,500 acres of agricultural land

By 2070, 1.7 million acres of land lost to inundation, including 41,000 acres of agricultural land

Sprawl Scenario

By 2040, nearly 1 million more acres of developed land, an increase of 17%

By 2070, nearly 3.5 million more acres of developed land, an increase of 64%

By 2040, approximately 523,000 acres of agricultural lands lost to development

By 2070, more than 2.2 million acres of agricultural land lost to development

By 2040, 206,000 acres in the Florida Wildlife Corridor (Corridor) lost

By 2070, 1.2 million acres in the Corridor lost

Conservation Scenario
(compared with Sprawl Scenario)

5 million more acres of proposed protected natural land (including the Corridor)

2.4 million more acres of proposed protected agricultural land (including the Corridor)

By 2040, 270,000 fewer acres of developed land, a saving of about 4%

By 2070, 1.3 million fewer acres of developed land, a saving of about 14%

Maps

Current Florida Agriculture by General Category

Projected Loss Under NOAA Three-Foot Sea Level Rise Model

Projected Loss to Development Under 2040 Sprawl Scenario

Projected Loss to Development Under 2070 Sprawl Scenario

Projected Loss to Development Under 2040 Conservation Scenario

Projected Loss to Development Under Conservation 2070 Scenario

2020 Florida Future Land Use Maps

Current Florida Agriculture Classified As Non-Agricultural or Agricultural in 2020 Future Land Use Maps (FLUM)

Current Florida Agriculture in the Florida Wildlife Corridor

Current Florida Agriculture in 2070 Aggregated Conservation Priorities

Current Florida Agriculture Intersecting Aggregated Conservation Priorities

Current Florida Agriculture Intersecting Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) Rare Species Habitat

Current Agriculture Supporting Climate Change Resilience

Protected and Unprotected Current Florida Agriculture

Unprotected Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Program Projects

Unprotected Protection Opportunities Model

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