Farm State Senators Look to Crack Down on Foreign Ownership of Ag Land
We’re talking today about foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land. It is a storyline that has just continued to develop throughout the year.
Farm state Senators are now joiningHouse colleagues in trying to crack down on this sort of ownership. In June, House appropriators included a ban on Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran owning U.S. farmland in their annual USDA spending bill.
Current federal law imposes no restrictions on foreign farmland ownership. It does require reporting. Now, Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley have introduced the Farmland Security Act…
“Ensuring that the USDA is updating its website in real-time. The bill also requires the Department of Agriculture to report to Congress on the impact that these foreign investments have on family farms, rural communities, and protecting our national food supply.”
The USDA reports China, Russia and Iran accounted for a combined 200 thousand acres of foreign-owned ag land here in 2019: China, most of it, largely by owning Smithfield Foods. But allies Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany hold the lions’ share of foreign-owned U.S. ag land.