Report: Nearly 50 percent of ag-land is owned by non-operators


Report: Nearly 50 percent of ag-land is owned by non-operators

A recent report from Farmers National Company indicates nearly half of all ag land in the U.S. is owned by non-operators.

Randy Dickhut, the senior vice president for Real Estate Operations, says the land is being retained for ag production. “Some of that land stays in the family and some is sold to farmers.” 

The landowner group is made up of retired farmers and ranchers, local owners who don’t farm, inheritors of the land who may live locally or at a distance, and institutional owners.

While the national average is nearly 50 percent, he tells Brownfield the ownership rates vary across the Corn Belt. “If you take a state like Missouri, which has a long history of livestock and cow/calf operations and pasture land and part of the state has more timber than farmland for sure and so those areas tend to be more owner operated,” Dickhut says. “States like Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, the Delta region in Arkansas, have a higher percentage of non-operating landowners than other areas because of good tillable land that people have inherited over the generations tend to keep that,” he says.

He says the ag economy has helped spur more transfers.

Randy Dickhut: