- Seven one-square-mile areas were selected to test the notion
that there is a general intensification of agriculture as farm land
becomes more valuable. The Tualatin Valley adjacent to a large expanding
population center was selected because the land values in this
valley are increasing faster than are those of average farmland. The
possible correlation between historical agricultural land-use data and
historical land-value changes was examined. Data was compiled mainly
through field research, county assessor records, and interviews with
landowners and public agencies.
Each area studied, from the most suburbanized to the most
rural, shows a wide range of land values/acre. There is an uneven
growth rate of land values and tax rates between different parts of the
Tualatin, not necessarily explained by proximity to the most rapidly
urbanizing areas. Farmers testify that the increase in suburbanization
has forced very few of them to intensify agricultural practices. Historically
there is no record or evidence to indicate that intensification
of agricultural land-uses preceeded urbanization.
As land values increase due to mounting pressures of suburbanization
from the metropolitan center, farming practices tend to change
very little. Analysis of each of the seven case studies reveals that
no general agricultural intensification has occurred.
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