People have various reasons for purchasing farmland, including crop cultivation, livestock raising, homesteading, timber production, and more. However, investing in farmland can also prove to be a profitable long-term venture, as farmland generally appreciates over time. The United States is home to nearly 894 million acres of farmland, with varying prices across different states. In this article, we will explore the cheapest states to buy farmland in the U.S., based on the median price per acre and the year-on-year appreciation rates provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. Please note that tax rates have not been taken into account for the rankings, as they differ between states. Let’s delve into the top 15 states and their unique characteristics.
Oregon – A Haven for Diverse Agriculture and Timber Production
Oregon is renowned for its geographic diversity, boasting lush forests, volcanoes, crystal-clear lakes, majestic mountains, and a stunning Pacific coastline. Farmland in Oregon is predominantly located in the western and southern parts of the state. With fertile soil and diverse typography, Oregon offers excellent opportunities for growing various crops. The state is also suitable for livestock farming, fishing, and vineyard industries. The average price per acre of farmland in Oregon is approximately $3,040, with an appreciation rate of almost 9% per year.
West Virginia – Homesteading and Mineral Rights Ownership
Situated entirely in the Appalachian region, West Virginia is often referred to as the Mountain State. While coal mining is the main industry, approximately 24% of the land in West Virginia is categorized as farmland, and most of it remains underdeveloped and relatively inexpensive. West Virginia permits homesteading, and buyers also own the mineral rights, allowing them to extract minerals from beneath their property. The median price for an acre of farmland in West Virginia is estimated at $3,000, with a year-on-year appreciation rate of around 8%.
Mississippi – Southern Charm and Valuable Farmland
Mississippi is a state worth considering for those interested in purchasing farmland in the southern part of the United States. It ranks high in agricultural production and livestock raising, and its farmland holds considerable value due to proximity to natural wildlife, fishing opportunities, and stunning Gulf Coast beaches. While the appreciation of farmland in Mississippi is not uniform, the state has experienced an overall increase in prices, making it an attractive option for long-term investment. The current price for an acre of farmland in Mississippi is around $3,000, with an annual appreciation rate of 6%.
Maine – Secluded Farmland with a Thriving Agricultural Industry
Maine, known for its jagged coastline and dense forests, is the northeastern most state in the U.S. Wild blueberry production leads the agricultural sector, closely followed by maple syrup and potato crops. Much of Maine’s farmland is secluded and remote, often sold in large parcels that bring down the price per acre. Despite the relatively higher total asking price, the median price for an acre of farmland in Maine is around $2,800, with an annual appreciation rate of 4%.
Arkansas – Affordable Land with a Diverse Agricultural Base
Situated in the southern region of the United States, Arkansas offers affordable farmland options and a diverse agricultural industry. The state is known for its production of rice, soybeans, cotton, and poultry. With fertile soil and a favorable climate, Arkansas provides excellent conditions for various crops. The median price per acre for farmland in Arkansas is approximately $2,750, with a year-on-year appreciation rate of 5%.
New Mexico – Vast Landscapes and Opportunities for Livestock Farming
New Mexico, located in the southwestern part of the country, boasts stunning desert landscapes, mountains, and wide-open spaces. The state offers affordable farmland, particularly suitable for livestock farming, such as cattle, sheep, and horses. It also presents opportunities for specialty crops like chile peppers and pecans. The median price per acre of farmland in New Mexico is estimated at $2,500, with an appreciation rate of around 4% per year.
Tennessee – Rich Farmland in the Heart of the South
Tennessee, often associated with its vibrant music scene and beautiful landscapes, also offers affordable farmland options. The state’s diverse geography and fertile soil contribute to its agricultural success. Tennessee is known for its production of tobacco, cotton, soybeans, and livestock. The median price for an acre of farmland in Tennessee is approximately $2,500, with a year-on-year appreciation rate of 3%.
Texas – Vast Opportunities for Agriculture and Ranching
As the second-largest state in the U.S., Texas boasts vast opportunities for agriculture and ranching. With its wide-ranging climate, Texas can support various crops, including cotton, corn, wheat, and citrus fruits. Livestock production, particularly cattle, is also a significant sector. The price per acre of farmland in Texas varies depending on the region, but the median price is around $2,400, with an annual appreciation rate of 6%.
Alabama – Affordable Farmland with Southern Charm
Alabama, located in the southeastern part of the country, offers affordable farmland options combined with a rich cultural heritage and southern charm. The state’s primary agricultural products include poultry, cattle, cotton, soybeans, and peanuts. The median price for an acre of farmland in Alabama is approximately $2,300, with a year-on-year appreciation rate of 3%.
Oklahoma – Ideal Conditions for Livestock and Crop Production
Oklahoma, situated in the heartland of America, provides ideal conditions for both livestock and crop production. The state is known for its beef cattle, wheat, cotton, and soybean production. With its affordable land prices and a favorable climate for agriculture, Oklahoma presents opportunities for those interested in farming and ranching. The median price per acre of farmland in Oklahoma is estimated at $2,250, with an appreciation rate of around 5% per year.
Kansas – Abundant Farmland in the Breadbasket of America
Kansas, located in the central part of the U.S., is often referred to as the “Breadbasket of America” due to its significant agricultural production. The state’s fertile soil, favorable climate, and ample water resources make it an excellent location for growing crops such as wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans. The median price per acre of farmland in Kansas is approximately $2,000, with a year-on-year appreciation rate of 4%.
Mississippi – Fertile Farmland in the Magnolia State
Mississippi, known as the Magnolia State, offers fertile farmland and a diverse agricultural industry. The state is a major producer of cotton, soybeans, corn, poultry, and catfish. Mississippi’s warm climate and abundant water resources make it favorable for various crops and livestock production. The median price per acre of farmland in Mississippi is around $2,200, with an appreciation rate of approximately 3% per year.
Kentucky – Affordable Farmland in the Bluegrass State
Kentucky, also referred to as the Bluegrass State, provides affordable farmland options along with its rolling hills and picturesque landscapes. The state’s primary agricultural products include horses, beef cattle, tobacco, soybeans, and corn. Kentucky’s favorable climate and fertile soil make it suitable for diverse agricultural activities. The median price for an acre of farmland in Kentucky is approximately $2,100, with an annual appreciation rate of 3%.
Nebraska – Abundant Farmland in the Cornhusker State
Nebraska, known as the Cornhusker State, is renowned for its vast stretches of farmland. The state’s prime agricultural products include corn, soybeans, beef cattle, and hogs. Nebraska’s fertile soil, ample water resources, and favorable climate make it a prime location for agriculture. The median price per acre of farmland in Nebraska is estimated at $2,050, with an appreciation rate of around 4% per year.
South Dakota – Affordable Land with Agricultural Potential
South Dakota offers affordable land options and significant agricultural potential. The state’s primary agricultural products include corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, and hogs. South Dakota’s fertile soil, abundant water supply, and favorable growing conditions make it a favorable location for farming. The median price for an acre of farmland in South Dakota is approximately $2,000, with a year-on-year appreciation rate of 5%.
These are just a few examples of states where you can find affordable farmland in the United States. Remember that land prices and appreciation rates can vary within each state and even among different regions within the same state. It’s essential to conduct thorough research, consult with local experts, and consider various factors such as soil quality, climate, access to markets, and infrastructure before making any purchasing decisions.