What To Look For When Shopping Farm Land

 The prospect of owning farmland is becoming a more popular theme among today’s investors and buyers. The value of this land has been on the rise and many …

 The prospect of owning farmland is becoming a more popular theme among today’s investors and buyers. The value of this land has been on the rise and many people are looking for alternative ways to earn an income. Farmland is becoming more and more accessible to the average investor, meaning it is no longer the experts and agricultural gurus purchasing up the land. So if you are in the market for some farmland, there are certain things you need to know before snatching up your plot of paradise.


One of the most important factors of quality farmland is the soil. Without understanding the type and history of the soil, you might as well me shopping blindfolded. One thing to discuss with the sellers is the profile and history of annual crop rotation. Proper care and rotation of the soil ensures its potential productiveness for future crops.

In addition to discussing the history with the seller, you should ask for any recent soil tests or request that one be done if there are no recent results. This can help to provide information regarding nutrients that are present or missing from the soil. The missing nutrients are a key factor as adding those nutrients back into the soil is going to be costly.

Another factor regarding soil is comparing tillable acres to total acres on the farm. This is an evaluation of what percentage of the property can be used for production. Any idle land that can be reclaimed for tillable acreage should also be taken into consideration along with the cost of work to reclaim it.

Finally, you’ll want to understand the farm’s drainage situation. You’ll need to look at things such as if if farm is terraced, the condition of the terraces, or if it is not terraced, what type of erosion damage has occurred. Drainage will have a long lasting and major impact on production of the farm and the resulting revenue.

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Another factor to look at when buying a property is how much you are purchasing and verifying the property boundaries. If the land hasn’t been surveyed, you’ll want to make sure one is done to make sure you are getting what you think you are paying for.


Another important area to review when buying farmland is how the property is zoned. Legal zoning is not the most exciting aspect of owning a farm but it is a very necessary one to understand. Zoning can affect your plans for the farm. The county should be able to tell you what the area has been zoned for and any zoning requirements. If the land you are considering is zoned in a way that conflicts with your plan, you are better off looking elsewhere for farmland.

Water Source

Getting back to the actual land, you’ll want to know what the water source for your farmland is. Whether you are raising livestock or growing crops, your water source is of utmost importance. You’ll want to know if the property is irrigated and if the water rights convey with the property. A major valuation factor in your farmland will be establishing an adequate water supply.


Similarly to homes, the higher the appraisal, the better the property. The downside to having a farmland appraisal is that they are not cheap. However, having one is the best way to determine the actual value of the land. This will allow you to determine if the sales price matches the actual value. If you refuse to get an appraisal, you should at least look at comparable sales in the area while taking a look at things such as price per acre, water sources, and types of crops grown there.

Gas, Mineral, Wind Rights

Understanding the rights for natural resources such as gas, minerals, and wind will help you evaluate the property. As with the water source, you’ll want to make sure that the rights for these resources convey to you as the purchaser.

Included Items

Finally, take a look at what items are included with the sale of the property. This includes pretty much anything that can be moved. So you’ll want to find out if the sale includes things such as gates, livestock panels, fence posts, feeders, sheds, equipment, and more.


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