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Farmland Sales Show Little Opening For New Farmers

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In the next five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects about 10 percent of farmland to change owners. But as Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, it’s still going to be tough for new farmers to buy land.

A land ownership survey conducted by the Agriculture Department found that landowners plan to put about half of those acres into trusts. That means it might still be farmed, but won’t be sold on the open market. Gifts, bequests and sales to family members further reduce the amount of farmland available for public purchase.

"It’s still difficult for someone that doesn’t have the relationship or the contacts to come into the farming community," USDA’s Troy Joshua says.

Many beginning farmers may rent land, which can help build those relationships toward a future sale.