The U.S. to Foreign Farmland Seekers:

Jun 28, 2022


The “do not buy” list just got a little longer.

Language approved by the House Appropriations Committee intends to stop a group of not-so-friendly foreigners from finding farmland in the U.S., including companies from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

ICYMI: Last summer, the committee included a provision to the annual USDA-FDA bill that would ban China from purchasing U.S. farmland or collecting farm subsidies on land they already own.

That proposal, sponsored by Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington state, turned into a USDA report request.

Round two: Rep Newhouse’s provision was amended, adding Russia, North Korea, and Iran to the China-centric provision from last year. Newhouse has new concern over authoritarian regimes’ access to ag land. House Appropriations Committee members voted to add the provision to the USDA-FDA funding bill.

Soundbite: “More needs to be done to ensure the U.S. food supply chain is secure and independent,” said Rep. Newhouse.

By the numbers: Foreign investors…

  • Own 37.6M acres, 29% of which is cropland
  • Have increased holdings by 2.2M acres per year, on average, since 2015
  • Own 2.9% of privately held U.S. agricultural land

Foreign facts: Texas, Maine, and Alabama have the most foreign-owned land, according to the USDA. Canadian investors held the biggest stake in foreign-owned land (32%). China, which Newhouse says has been the most active investor recently, held less than 1%.