There continues to be dedicated farmland within the United States. While some of these farms may consist of small independent growers that are located close to urban areas, other farms consist of a considerable amount of land located in predominantly rural areas. Farms are, of course, located in a variety of areas, and the total number and size of these may fluctuate. There were 2,042,220 farms in 2017, for example. When it comes to assessing the total value of these farms, which includes their on-site buildings, this amounted to approximately $2.7 trillion in 2018.
A Brief Overview of Active Farmland
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), some farmers lease their land while others own the land they farm. Over 625 million acres of farm and ranch land is owned by farmers throughout this country. In some instances, owners will farm a certain percentage of their land while leasing out the remainder to other farmers. Recent figures indicate that 90% of the land is owned by the farmers, and the remainder, which amounts to 38%, is leased out.
The Benefits of Leasing Farmland
The USDA indicates that there are benefits to leasing farmland. This is particularly the case for farmers 34 years of age or younger. Currently, more younger farmers are leasing, rather than buying their farms. This amounts to 64% of the farmland being worked by younger farmers. Financial experts contend that this is considered to be an affordable and flexible option when farmers are just starting out or expanding their business.
Learn More About Farm Loan Programs
If you’re interested in becoming a farmer and want to own rather than lease, there are farm loan programs available. Once you schedule a consultation with a local land lender, you’ll be able to learn more about small farm loans and other financing options. In case you already own farmland, and are planning to add structures or other improvements, this places you in a good position to back a loan as you have collateral.
Given the importance of sustaining and further developing agriculture within this country, there are a variety of opportunities for farmers to make a difference.