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Buying farmland

Land acquisition is one of the concerns discussed most often on the Farmers For The Future network, with many beginning farmers questioning the whole process. Is now the right time to buy? Is there even any land to buy in the area? If so, how will I fund the venture?

Such is the case for Ross Collins of Pleasantville, Iowa. He recently asked the network members for advice on some farmland that became available.

“Recently my neighbor decided to sell a little over 40 acres of tillable ground. CSR averages 88 and is relatively flat with just a few waterways. Being 18 and not knowing where I'll end up in life other than Iowa agriculture, I have the ability to buy the land with a 40-year loan through the FSA. I don't know if I should or not. The price per acre he's asking is $5,000. You do the math; it's a big chunk of change. Just seeking some advice on what to do and if it has potential.”

“Sounds like a good deal to me!” says James Kelly. “I'm not familiar with Iowa farmland, but the price sounds right, and neighboring farmland only comes up for sale maybe once a generation.”

“Buying this piece of ground would give you a good foot in the door on renting the other land that your neighbor has in the future,” says Dan Coffman. “If I had first bid on a piece of land like that, I would have bought it yesterday. Especially if you're getting the young farmer loan! Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.”

“Around Carroll County (Iowa), that parcel would go for around $10,000 or higher,” says Tony Eickman. “If you were to go to college down the road, you could rent it out and still make money to pay the loan off. Not to mention the tax incentive for beginning farmers too. With that asking price, there's also room to improve the land.”

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