Farmland and Urbanization

Image of Agricultural land in San Joaquin County

​Prime Farmland


The Farmland Mapping and Monitoring program categorizes prime farmland by land use and soil:
Prime Farmland: land with best physical and chemical characteristics for making food.
Unique Farmland: Farmland used for producing specific high-value food (i.e. tree nuts).
Farmland of Statewide or Local Importance: Land determined by State or local agencies to be important crop production area, but does not meet "Prime Farmland" requirements. 

Prime farmland, which is vital to San Joaquin County's economy, has declined at a slower rate in the last decade.

Urban and built-up land

Urban and built-up land is county land used for urban areas, characterized by buildings, asphalt, suburban gardens, and systematic street patterns. This includes residential, commercial. Industrial, transportation, communications, utilities, and mixed developments. (Definition of urban and built up land from landcover.usgs.gov.) 

SJCOG collects and reports numbers such as these graphs to show the current state of our county’s land use. These graphs reveal that, although the county has rapidly developed land, the conversion rate to urban and built-up land is slowing and leveling out.

Time lapse map: http://maps.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/ciftimeseries/.

Change in Urban and Built Up Land and Prime Farmland, 1992 to 2016