Foreign Ownership of U.S. Agricultural Land: Outlining the Biggest Problems and Potential Solutions

Justin Haskins Heartland Institute
Published November 30, 2023

In recent years, America has experienced a remarkable trend: foreign individuals and corporations have been amassing millions of additional acres of U.S. agricultural land. Although some organizations have downplayed the significance of this development, there are substantial economic, national security, and freedom-related reasons policymakers should be deeply concerned.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), at the end of 2021, “approximately 40 million acres of U.S. agricultural land (forest land and farmland)” were owned by foreign investors. The USDA further notes, “This is an increase of over 2.4 million acres from the December 31, 2020 report.”

Additionally, the Biden administration reports, “Since 2015, foreign holdings have increased an average of 2.2 million acres annually, ranging from 0.8 million acres to 3.3 million acres per year.” At this pace, foreign ownership of American agricultural land will surpass 100 million acres within the next three decades.

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