Land Use

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Covering 747.0 square miles, Banner County, Nebraska is the 30th-largest county in Nebraska by area. Bordering counties include Goshen County, Wyoming; Morrill County, Nebraska; Kimball County, Nebraska; Cheyenne County, Nebraska; Laramie County, Wyoming; and Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska.


Banner County is recognized as a “Livestock Friendly” county by the state of Nebraska. Winter wheat is the main crop, with others including alfalfa, corn, oats, barley, millet, rye, dry beans, potatoes, and sunflowers. About 14 percent of the cropland is irrigated.


The only commercial land use outside of Harrisburg is a cafe along Highway 71.

Public Land

This category includes land developed and maintained for recreational purposes (schools, parks, monuments), land and buildings owned by government entities, and land serving general community needs (churches, hospitals). Banner County has very little public land outside of Harrisburg. The Wildcat Hills Recreation Area is the only significant piece of public land.

Rural Residential Areas

Most of the residential land use in Banner County consists of farming homesteads.


This category includes land used for transportation purposes, specifically highways and roads.

Land Use Inventory Results

The land use survey indicates approximately 477,510 acres of land within Banner County. According to the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, 88.5% (423,063 acres) of land is in farms or ranches. In 1992, the county had 8.8% (42,016 acres) of federal reduction land. Transportation rights-of-way account for approximately 6,424 acres (1.3%). Public Land uses approximately 2,935 acres (0.6%). The remaining 19,040 acres (4.0%) are either vacant or in other land uses. Table 16 describes current land use estimates (not shown here).

Land Use Projection

The amount of land needed to accommodate future growth is dependent upon a variety of factors. Population change, health of the area economy, land costs, and development policy will - all affect changes in land use.

The future land use policy of this comprehensive development plan implies the philosophy of directing growth to areas that have the existing facilities to efficiently accommodate growth. Nonfarm rural development cannot occur without some expense to the county, whether direct or indirect. Non-farm rural development may also adversely affect farmers by raising agricultural taxes through speculation.