Issue Area

Sustainable Agriculture

Overview

With farmland accounting for nearly half of the total land area in the U.S. at 1.2 billion acres, the output of farms contributes $164.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Given the environmental footprint and proximity to natural resources, sustainable agriculture provides an opportunity to reduce pollution, promote biodiversity, protect soil health, and address climate change.

Sustainable agriculture accomplishes these goals through techniques such as crop rotation, cover crops, saturated buffers, and reduced tillage. These techniques can focus on a specific area or concern, like soil erosion or water quality, or take a wider view of the entire farm. Implementing these strategies can save millions of dollars in drinking water treatment costs, flood damages, and impacts on ecological services and recreational tourism within the Mississippi River corridor.

NCEL Point of Contact
Angela Yuan

Project Manager for Sustainable Agriculture and Water

Contact
Key Facts

Agricultural runoff is the leading cause of water quality impacts to rivers and streams, the third leading source for lakes, and the second largest source of impairments to wetlands.

In 2017, there were 17,741 certified organic farm operations in the U.S., an increase of 39% since 2012. Among these farms, organic commodities were valued at $7.3 billion, more than double the $3.1 billion reported in 2012.

27% of all farmers were considered beginning farmers in 2017, an increase of 5% over the past 5 years.

Viewing All Bills
Filter

Issue

Status

WY WV WI WA VT VA UT TX TN SD SC RI PA OR OK OH NY NV NM NJ NH NE ND NC MT MS MO MN MI ME MD MA LA KY KS IN IL ID IA HI GA FL DE DC CT CO CA AZ AR AL AK
Select a State
3FDBD0CA-FB8F-493F-AF5D-3E4DED843A45

Resources

NCEL Resources

Online Resources

NSAC: What is the Farm Bill?

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition provides a comprehensive farm bill overview.

Go to resource
NSAC: Farm Bill Conservation Programs

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition provides an overview of farm bill conservation programs.

Go to resource

News and Events

See All

Highlighting Our Successes