Land that is best suited to and available for the production of food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops. It can be cropland, pastureland, rangeland, forestland, or other land. It has the soil quality, growing season, and moisture needed to produce high yields of crops each year economically, if managed according to acceptable farm practices. Prime farmland produces the highest yields with minimal expenditure of energy and economic resources and does so with the least damage to the environment. Of the 334 million acres of prime farmland, 216 million are in cropland use, according to the 1992 national resources inventory.
Land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, fiber, forage, oil seed, and other agricultural crops with minimum inputs of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, and labor and without intolerable soil erosion, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. It does not include land that is already committed to urban development or storage.