Who’s Buying Up All the Farmland?


It seems to be a trend of late.  Investment firms are buying up farmland in the United States at an increasing rate. Since 2008 to mid-2023 the amount of farmland bought by investment firms has increased 231%.  Taking a closer look, at the end of 2023 investors owned $16.6 billion worth of farmland, up 9.2 billion from 2020.  It is estimated by industry experts that investment firms control 1-3% of the market.

It’s an attractive investment since according to estimates by the United Nations, the world will need to produce 60% more food by 2050. The USDA reports “the inflation-adjusted net farm income in 2022 was an astonishing 167.3 billion. That’s 8.3 percent higher than farm income in 2021 and the highest seen since 1973.”  Land value has increased from $2700 per acre in 2010 to $5460 in 2023 according to the USDA.

It’s not only investment firms but private individuals who are buying too.  Warren Buffet mentioned almost 10 years ago that farmland investment “has potential upsides and virtually no downsides.” Bill Gates made the headlines in 2020 by becoming the country’s largest owner of private farmland and at that time he owned about 269,000 acres in 18 different states.  But today Ted Turner owns 2 million acres of farmland, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns over 420,000 acres and even Dr. Mehmet Oz has invested significantly in U.S. farmlands.  The U.S.D.A. estimated in 2021 that about 30% of all farmland in America is owned by non-farmers.

The Emmerson Family of Redding, California which owns Sierra Pacific has 2.4 million acres of forests logged for timber in Oregon, California and Washington and is now the largest private landowner in the U.S.

Foreign Buyers Pose a Concern

While U.S. lawmakers are concerned about the buy up of farmland by investment firms, they’re even more concerned about foreign buyers grabbing up this agricultural real estate.

One such buyer is Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen who is the second largest owner of U.S. land (although less than 1% of foreign-owned land in the US is owned by Chinese interests (according to USDA). He became the second largest foreign owner of U.S. land following the purchase, through his investment company, of nearly 200,000 acres of forestland in Klamath and Deschutes counties nearly a decade ago.

The second largest foreign investor in US farmland is Canada who owns 31% of foreign-held U.S. land (which amounts to just under 1% of total U.S. agricultural land.)

Over the last year or so, members of Congress and “at least 36 state lawmakers have introduced bills that would limit or ban non-US citizens or people from certain countries (mostly Iran, Russia, China and North Korea) from buying farmland.”


  1. Investment Firms Are Buying More Farmland by Matty Merritt, February 20, 2024, Morning Brew,
  2. Investment in American Farmland is Growning Across the Country by Leaps and Bounds, Why? by Nirav Shah, For AP/Wealth of Geeks, August 6, 2023, The Journal,
  3. Chinese billionaire owns hundreds of thousands of acres of Oregon timberland, report reveals by Alex Baumhardt, January 21, 2024, Oregon Capital Chronicle,
  4. USDA Farm Service Agency, Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA),




ちなみに、現時点で米国最大の民間の土地の保有者は、カリフォルニア州レディングのエマーソン一族です。Sierra Pacific Industriesという家族経営の会社でオレゴン州、カリフォルニア州、ワシントン州を含む240万エーカー(約97万1,000ヘクタール)の山林を保有し、林業を営んでいます。





過去1年ほどの間に、米国議会の議員に加え、「少なくとも36州の州議員が、非米国籍者または特定国(ほとんどはイラン、ロシア、中国、北朝鮮)の出身者による農地購入を制限または禁止する法案を提出した」と、ニュースサイトのMorning Brewは伝えています。



  1. Investment Firms Are Buying More Farmland(投資会社の農地購入が拡大)、著:Matty Merritt、2024年2月20日、Morning Brew、
  2. Investment in American Farmland is Growing Across the Country by Leaps and Bounds, Why?(農地への投資が全米で急増中、その理由は)、著:Nirav Shah(AP通信「Wealth of Geeks」)、2023年8月6日、The Journal、
  3. Chinese billionaire owns hundreds of thousands of acres of Oregon timberland, report reveals(オレゴン州の数十万エーカーの山林を中国の富豪が保有していることが判明)、著:Alex Baumhardt、2024年1月21日、Oregon Capital Chronicle、
  4. USDA Farm Service Agency, Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act(AFIDA)(米国農務省・農場サービス局、農業外国投資開示法)、

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