Ozark Farmers Fear Loss of More Farm Land

April 16, 2006 - Posted at 11:39 a.m. CST

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ Every minute of every day, the United States

loses two acres of farmland to development.

Some farmers in the Ozarks say too much of that farm loss is

happening in their area.

Realtors at Steve Spicer Realty say large rural properties in

the Neosho area are few and far between. Most of the land tracts of

2,000 acres or more in rural Newton County have been parceled out,

or bought by a new wave of urbanites relocating to Southwest

Missouri.

Don Buckloh of the nonprofit American Farmland Trust says that

without planning, development will happen helter-skelter, making

farming difficult on fragmented land. Right now, Missouri is one of

20 states with no farmland protection efforts.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)