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Regional Trends

The more recent trends of rapidly changing prices and demand for farmland, up until the recent housing bubble, require that we view farmland in perspective of regional gain or loss. Table 3 gives a regional view of farmland acres comparing 1997 and 2002 agricultural census data statistics. If the trend remains the same, farmland will continue to erode at the same pace or perhaps faster.

Table 3.

Farm Loss

Between 1997 and 2002, DuPage County lost 56% of its agricultural land, Cook lost 43%, equivalent to 9,971 and 18,338 acres, respectively, while Will County lost nearly 35,000 acres of farmland.

Regional Projections

Kendall, Will and Kane Counties are among the Top 100 Fastest Growing Counties (CNN Money, 2005) in the country and ranked 7th, 32nd, and 84th respectively in the 2004 US Census for fastest growing counties. Table 4 shows 2030 population estimates (NIPC). Based on interviews with regional county planning experts, there has been a high demand for housing, and support services, which some counties have had difficulty managing, considering their limited taxing capabilities and funding streams.

Table 4.

Ag Data NE County est

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