The 411 on Foreign Owned Land

The 411 on Foreign Owned Land

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With your Southeast Regional Ag News, I am Haylie Shipp. This is the Ag Information Network.

Well, it’s a concept that we talk a lot about: foreign land ownership. But what is the reality?

USDA’s latest report shows foreign investors own less than two percent of all land in the country. Danny Munch, American Farm Bureau Federation Economist, says foreign owners of farmland are required to report their investments by the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act…

“USDA publishes the results from those reports from the two years prior. So, the most recent data we have is 2021 data. In 2021, 40 million acres, or 3.1 percent of all privately held agricultural land, was owned by foreign investors.”

Munch says Canadian investors own the largest portion of foreign held U.S. farmland…

“Following Canada, investors from the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Those five countries make up over half of all U.S. ag land owned by foreign investors.”

While a lot of attention regarding foreign owned farmland is focused on China, the country ranks 18th…

“A way to look at this is about the size of a single average size county in Ohio. Almost half of all foreign owned ag land in United States is timberland. And when we look at the types of companies, the leading investors are timber and paper companies and renewable energy companies investing in land for solar and wind projects.”

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