Cornucopia’s Take: The USDA’s Economic Research Service has published a report on barriers to farmland access and the transfer of farmland. Landowners are necessarily involved in long-term farming decisions, including transitioning to organics. This may be an additional stumbling block for young farmers, who are more likely to rent farmland.
Land Tenure and Turnover: How are Beginning Farmers Affected?
It’s no secret: farmers need land to farm, and lately they are having an increasingly difficult time obtaining it. Today, nearly half of all farmland is rented and many farmers are forced to cobble together plots of land by contracting with multiple landlords in multiple locations. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) published a report, U.S. Farmland Ownership, Tenure, and Transfer, which sheds some light around the major barriers to land access faced by farmers, particularly beginning farmers, and also explores channels through which farming and non-farming landlords may consider transferring their lands.
This timely report analyzes trends in U.S. farmland ownership and land tenure drawn from USDA’s 2014Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey. For NSAC’s analysis of the TOTAL survey results, see our previous blog post.