In this file:


·         Baldwin, Grassley introduce ag land foreign ownership bill

·         Senators Want More Details on Foreign Ownership of U.S. Farmland



Baldwin, Grassley introduce ag land foreign ownership bill


By Larry Lee, Brownfield

July 28, 2022


Legislation introduced Thursday would bring more scrutiny and better tracking of foreign farmland ownership.


Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin says she worked with Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley to introduce the Farmland Security Act Thursday. She says, “It requires the Secretary to report to Congress on foreign investments in agricultural land including the impact foreign ownership has on farm families and rural communities.”


Baldwin says farmlands are one of our greatest assets but, “Currently, we just don’t have a full understanding of how much of America’s heartland is foreign-owned.”


Now, Baldwin says varying state and federal regulations exist on foreign land ownership, but they don’t have a handle on how much land is foreign-owned and by who. “The USDA does require foreign investors to disclose their purchases of domestic agricultural land but USDA has admitted that they don’t really investigate when companies evade that filing requirement.”


Baldwin says the bill addresses ag land ownership but does not address foreign ownership of ag-related businesses.  She also says the U.S. currently doesn’t have many options for going after violators that don’t properly report land purchases.


Baldwin says, for example, China owns about one-half of a percent of the 35.8 million acres of farm and forest land in the U.S., or about 179 thousand acres.


If passed, the Farmland Security Act would require...





Senators Want More Details on Foreign Ownership of U.S. Farmland


By Chris Clayton, DTN/The Progressive Farmer



A pair of senators have introduced bipartisan legislation that would demand more reporting on foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land.


Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the "Farmland Security Act," to require more disclosure by foreign entities about the purchase of U.S. farmland. The bill would require USDA to increase reporting on foreign investments in the U.S., "including the impact foreign ownership has on family farms, rural communities and the domestic food supply." USDA also would be required to develop an interactive public database with real-time updates on disclosures of foreign land purchases.


USDA releases an annual report based on a 1978 law, but the report is typically behind in its information. The last report released looked at 2020.


As of the end of 2020, foreign investors "held an interest" in nearly 38.3 million acres of farm and forest land, up about 2.4 million acres from 2019. USDA noted that foreign holdings in agricultural land have accelerated since 2015 and average roughly 2.2 million acres of additional land purchases per year.


Forestry is the largest area of foreign land holdings at about 17.8 million acres. Cropland accounts for about 10.9 million acres and pasture takes up nearly 7.2 million acres. Other uses account for about 2.5 million acres.


The senators cited the acceleration of foreign land purchases in a news release, adding that the information is incomplete as well. The news release stated, "investigators estimate that foreign ownership of land is nearly double current figures." The senators' staffs did not attribute the source that information...