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Abstract,  J Plan Lit, 2012

By uniting literature from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, bioengineering, and environmental studies, this article provides an overview and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. This article first analyzes the mission statements of 130 nationally accredited land trusts to ascertain the criteria used in preserving farmland. Land trusts present uniform preference for parcels that provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, viewsheds, local heritage, and agricultural productivity. The list of benefits provided by land trusts was compared to a literature review drawing from farmland amenity, agritourism, farmland preservation, and ecosystems studies to reveal the range of market values for the various benefits of farmland. The market value of farmland services varies from −$37,541 to 124,000 per acre depending on the method of analysis and location of the farm. This research has strong implications for land-use planning, economic opportunities, and ecosystems infrastructure in peri-urban areas.

Keywords: peri-urban agriculture, farmland amenity, agritourism, PACE