Could certain countries no longer be allowed to purchase farmland in New York state?

With the state budget pushed back to April 10, politicians continue their last minute agendas to get new laws on the books. This proposal raises an issue some may not think about too often, but it does really exist. How much of our farms in New York are owned by foreign nations?

How Much Of New York Farms Are Owned By Foreign Groups or Individuals? 

According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture records, nearly 756,000 acres of agricultural land are held by foreign entities in New York State (about 3.8%). St. Lawrence County has the state's highest amount of farm ownership from outside the US, with 160,226 acres.

From the available records, Dutchess County has 5,659 acres of farmland that is owned by foreign entities. This is the Hudson Valley's highest amount, according to the USDA, though data for Westchester, Putnam, and Sullivan counties was not listed.

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The USDA says most foreign land ownership is located in states with little to no regulations on outside ownership, such as Maine and Texas.


New York Lawmaker Wants Certain Countries Off NY Farms

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, out of Schenectady, said in a press release that he intends to introduce a bill that would ban "entities owned by foreign adversaries from purchasing agricultural land in New York State." This would mean countries such as; China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, or any other country or individual that pose a threat to the United States.

Santabarbara added, “Now more than ever we must do all we can to protect our food supply chains here in the United States."

The website FiveThirtyEight, 14 other states already prohibit foreign ownership of private agricultural land by known adversaries.

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