[205-42] Important agricultural lands; definition and objectives. (a) As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires, "important agricultural lands" means those lands, identified pursuant to this part, that:

(1) Are capable of producing sustained high agricultural yields when treated and managed according to accepted farming methods and technology;

(2) Contribute to the State's economic base and produce agricultural commodities for export or local consumption; or

(3) Are needed to promote the expansion of agricultural activities and income for the future, even if currently not in production.

(b) The objective for the identification of important agricultural lands is to identify and plan for the maintenance of a strategic agricultural land resource base that can support a diversity of agricultural activities and opportunities that expand agricultural income and job opportunities and increase agricultural self-sufficiency for current and future generations. To achieve this objective, the State shall:

(1) Promote agricultural development and land use planning that delineates blocks of productive agricultural land and areas of agricultural activity for protection from the encroachment of nonagricultural uses; and

(2) Establish incentives that promote:

(A) Agricultural viability;

(B) Sustained growth of the agriculture industry; and

(C) The long-term agricultural use and protection of these productive agricultural lands. [L 2005, c 183, pt of 2]



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