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Applications open for NC farmland preservation grants; officials estimate state will lose a million acres 2040

Combines harvest a corn field in Grand Island, Neb.
(File photo: Nati Harnik/AP)
Combines harvest a corn field.

Grant applications are now open for projects that preserve North Carolina farmland, as the amount of farmable land in the state continues to shrink.

A 2020 study from the American Farmland Trust forecasts North Carolina will lose a million acres of farmland by 2040.

The state's Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund aims to slow the loss by funding preservation efforts.

These include conservation easements, along with projects that help farmers make more money, like cold storage facilities for produce, or finding new markets for small grains like oats and barley.

The application deadline is December 19th.