Total acres of farmland continue to decline in the U.S., pressured by increasing urbanization and more conservation programs and incentives. Richard Brain, lead researcher and writer on a report in Agricultural Science and Technology with Syngenta, says the current shift out of farmland is a “cannibalistic” scenario, where urban audiences consume the land they relied on to allow for expansion in the first place.

The recent report touches on where farmland acres actually go when they’re taken out of production. Brain shares that from 2001 to 2016, 11 million acres of farmland and ranchland were converted to urban and highly developed land or residential use. He reports that these land use percentages have changed over time as society has evolved.

Brain also voiced questions on actual farmland ownership throughout the report, noting that nonfarming entities that own land are usually removed from agriculture and its associated communities, driving prices up and out of shot for aspiring and growing farmers.

Read more on farmland shrinkage and use here.