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Report: California Losing Prime Farmland

  

The latest version of the "California Farmland Conversion Report"  shows the state lost 260 square miles of irrigated farmland from 2008 to 2010.

Molly Penbeth of the Department of Conservation says the recession meant many housing and commercial developments were scaled back. Penbeth says the amount of urbanization dropped to a record low, and farmers are getting better at using the land they have.

"The ability to use better production practices they have been able to improve yields and also there has been an intensification of crop type, moving more from pastures and things to higher value crops such as orchards and vineyards," says Penbeth.

Penbeth says the largest amount of farmland removed from production has been left idle.