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Delaware preserves more farmland than past few years

Delaware Public Media

Delaware is protecting more than 3,000 acres of agricultural land from development in its latest round of farmland preservation.


That’s the largest number of acres preserved in the past three years.


Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Austin Short said additional funds from New Castle County, Kent County and the USDA made this year a success.


“With all those different resources we were able to preserve 3,000 acres. You know in these difficult budget times we’re happy to be able to preserve that amount of land for future farming,” He said.


This is New Castle County’s first year giving money to the program and Short said that has been a huge help.


As recently as five years ago the state was preserving around 10,000 acres of farmland a year.


Short said that was due in large part to generous state funding for the program.


But that funding has shrunk from $10 million a year to $2 million as state lawmakers dealt with budget restrictions.


In 21 years of the program the state has preserved more than 124,000 acres of farmland.


"We have about 500,000 acres of farmland in the state. With this announcement, we’ve now preserved about 25 percent of it,” Short said.

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