USDA’s Farm Service Agency today released the latest report on foreign holdings of U.S. agricultural land. The publication reports that as of Feb. 28, 2009, foreign persons hold an interest in 22.2 million acres of U.S. agricultural land.

The publication also reports that foreign persons have an interest in 1.7 percent of all privately held U.S. agricultural land and 0.98 percent of all land in the United States. This is a 1.3 million acre increase from 2008.

The report includes a wide variety of figures and statistics, including:

A breakdown of agricultural land held by foreign persons by the type of acreage:

• Forest land - 59 percent
• Cropland - 14 percent
• Pasture and other agricultural land - 27 percent

Countries with foreign persons holding the largest amount of agricultural and nonagricultural land include:

• Canadians hold the largest amount of land: over 7.7 million acres, or 34 percent.
• Foreign persons from the following three countries collectively hold more than 6.8 million acres, or 30 percent of the foreign held acres in the U.S.:
• Netherlands, almost 3.9 million acres (17 percent),
• United Kingdom, over 1.5 million acres (7 percent), and
• Germany, over 1.4 million acres (6 percent).

The states with the highest proportions of foreign owned agricultural land to all privately owned agricultural land:

• Maine has the largest amount of foreign held U.S. agricultural land at 2.82 million acres, or 15.7 percent of the privately held agricultural land in the state.
• In Hawaii, 8.8 percent of private agricultural land is foreign held.
• Washington (7.6%), Nevada (5.2%), and Alabama (5.1%) have the next largest proportions of foreign held land.

The report, titled "Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural Land," is now available on the FSA Web site

Source: USDA