Thursday, January 06, 2022

New and minority farmers outbid on land with soaring prices

The pandemic has fueled a rural land rush in many parts of the country, helping farmland prices hit record highs in past months. But that has made land even harder to access for farmers who are new and/or from a racial minority, especially in the Northeast. 

According to Gabriela Pereyra, the co-director of the Land Network at the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, "the pamdemic "has deepened the longstanding crisis of land access, especially for people of color, who own just 2 percent of U.S. farmland," Greta Moran reports for Civil Eats.

"We’re seeing more and more people encroach on those areas who want second homes, more space, and connection with nature, and have zero ties to the communities,” Pereyra told Moran. 

"Since the pandemic began, rural residential land and agricultural land values have spiked," Moran reports. "In 2020, there was a 6.8% increase in residential land sales, which the Realtors Land Institute and National Association of Realtors consider to be 'underpinned by strong home-buying activity.' This coincided with an uptick in farmland real estate value by 7% across the country between June 2020 and June 2021, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

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