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    How to buy farmland: a definitive guide

    guide to buying farmland

    photo by werner22brigitte on pixabay

    One of the hardest things to do as a farmer is get land. This is particularly the case if you500彩票手机软件下载 are a you500彩票手机软件下载ng or new farmer. I mean let’s think about this. A farm is going to set you500彩票手机软件下载 back somewhere in the $500,000 range depending on what type  of farm, and where it’s located. If you500彩票手机软件下载 are a farmer in Canada there are some ways that you500彩票手机软件下载 can get money for it, which I wrote about in the how to get money for a farm post.

    However, this post is about buying land specifically.

    Determine the location

    Location is extremely important when it comes to farming. The place can decide whether you500彩票手机软件下载 are a successful farmer or not. Location can mean the difference between being in the red, and being in the black. You get the idea. Location is important for a farmer. I am looking in the Kawartha Lakes region, which is Northeast of Toronto.

    Your future piece of land can depend on what type of farming you500彩票手机软件下载 want to do you500彩票手机软件下载, and how much you500彩票手机软件下载 can afford. If you500彩票手机软件下载 are in British Columbia, the price  considerably higher than in most provinces.

    If you500彩票手机软件下载 are a new farmer, you500彩票手机软件下载 may want to look at areas that far from cities.

    Determine usability of the land

    One topic that came up a lot in my research is, “what are you500彩票手机软件下载 going to use the land for?”

    Depending on what you500彩票手机软件下载 want to use you500彩票手机软件下载r land for will decide what type of land you500彩票手机软件下载 are going to buy. If you500彩票手机软件下载 want to buy farmland that you500彩票手机软件下载 are going to use for livestock, you500彩票手机软件下载 are going to have different “must have” items than if you500彩票手机软件下载 just want crops.

    Let’s look at using land for livestock

    When you500彩票手机软件下载 want to have livestock there are two very important points to think about:

    Fencing: After speaking to a couple of farmers, one of the points that they stressed was fencing. Fencing is important because you500彩票手机软件下载 want to keep you500彩票手机软件下载r animals contained. You are  liable if you500彩票手机软件下载r livestock gets loose and causes an accident, so it is very important to look for good fencing when buying farmland. Also, the type of fence is important. Horses tend to chew on fencing, so having metal fencing might be better.

    Barn type: The barn type that is on the land is going to make a huge difference. With horses you500彩票手机软件下载 want a taller barn, for example. When the barn is in poor shape, you500彩票手机软件下载 don’t want to put you500彩票手机软件下载r livestock in it. Your livestock is you500彩票手机软件下载r money, and you500彩票手机软件下载 don’t want them to suffer because of the condition of the barn. Take this point into consideration when you500彩票手机软件下载 are looking to buy farmland. Newer barns tend to drive the price of the property up.

    Buying farmland for crop use

    When you500彩票手机软件下载 want to buy farmland for crops only, there are many things that you500彩票手机软件下载 want to think about. By far the most important aspect to consider is, “will the farmland produce a good harvest?” This question is always on the minds of farmers. When land doesn’t produce, it puts farmers in a tight place.

    I asked my sister in-law who is a you500彩票手机软件下载ng farmer, and one thing that she mentioned was, “how much money do you500彩票手机软件下载 have to put into the land before you500彩票手机软件下载 can make it profitable?”

    Here’s what you500彩票手机软件下载 need to consider:

     Soil types

    Determining the soil type on the farmland you500彩票手机软件下载 want to buy is important. Different soil types react in different ways, so you500彩票手机软件下载 want to make sure you500彩票手机软件下载 get the right kind for you500彩票手机软件下载.

    There are three basic types of soil:

    • Loam: is a balance of all soil types. It is the ideal type of soil for most  farmers. It holds water well so you500彩票手机软件下载r plants will get the nutrients they need.
    • Clay: holds the most water. Clay isn’t ideal for most farmers.
    • Sand: doesn’t hold any water. In many cases sand is mixed in with other soil types.  It isn’t ideal for farmers but you500彩票手机软件下载 can make do with it.

    These are just the basic types of soil and is in no way a complete list. It gives you500彩票手机软件下载 an idea about what to look for.

    Ideally,getting the soil tested is the only sure-fire way to find what exactly you500彩票手机软件下载 have to work with. If you500彩票手机软件下载 want to get you500彩票手机软件下载r soil tested, go to a local soil expert. The idea type of soil that you500彩票手机软件下载 want for most crop types is clay loam, which  is well structured topsoil that allows water to pass through it easily, and has lots of nutrients in it.

    One thing to note is, you500彩票手机软件下载r crop will depend on what type of soil you500彩票手机软件下载 have.

    To learn more about soil check out USDA website about soil health.


    Drainage is also very important when you500彩票手机软件下载 are looking to buy farmland. One thing to note is that you500彩票手机软件下载 want natural drainage because if you500彩票手机软件下载 decide to get tile drainage down the line it is way cheaper.  You want to make sure that the piece of land that you500彩票手机软件下载 are looking at has proper drainage, or you500彩票手机软件下载 could be running into flooding problems. Farmland that already has a good irrigation system in place will make a big difference. If you500彩票手机软件下载 are you500彩票手机软件下载ng farmer, it make not be possible to afford land that already has something like tile drainage. Tile drainage will drive up the price of the farmland.

    For some more information about drainage check out the Drainage eReference tool by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs(OMAFRA).

    Field history

    Another aspect to consider when buying farmland is field history. This was an interesting point that Lyndsey Smith and Amanda Brodhagen mentioned.

    Field history is important to know because you500彩票手机软件下载 need to know what type of herbicides have been used there before. Also, you500彩票手机软件下载 will also find out what types of crops were planted there as well. Some crops don’t work well together. If you500彩票手机软件下载 plant one crop followed by another crop, what can happen is an increase the number of diseases or weeds.

    Consider what crops were grown in the particular field you500彩票手机软件下载 are looking at.

    What do farmers say about buying farmland?

    I talked to a few farmers in a Google hangout. I had Lori Furguson(500彩票手机软件下载@Aprilfuel) a farmer from Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. I also talked to Patricia (500彩票手机软件下载@milkmaid58) a dairy consultant in Iowa. I talked Amanda Brodhagen(500彩票手机软件下载@AmandaBrodhagen) who is the Assistant editor of www.farms.com, but wasn’t able to make the hangout herself.

    I wanted to get their opinions about what to look for when buying farmland.

    I asked them a couple of questions.

    1. As a farmer, what do you500彩票手机软件下载 look for when looking to acquire farmland?
    2. What advice do you500彩票手机软件下载 have for you500彩票手机软件下载ng farmers who want farmland?
    I did ask them a couple other questions along the course of the conversation, but the above were my focus.

    Here is what they had to say.

    One thing to note is that when I talked about how much land costs in Amanda’s answer, I made an error. Some farmland in Ontario is going for  $10,000-15,000 an acre.

    Don’t over extend you500彩票手机软件下载rself

    One piece of advice that is particularly important is to have a financial plan. Multiple people expressed not to over extend you500彩票手机软件下载rself.. It is fine to have debt, but don’t over extend you500彩票手机软件下载rself. It will put you500彩票手机软件下载 in a bad situation. If you500彩票手机软件下载 are a new farmer, make you500彩票手机软件下载r decisions carefully before taking on more debt.

    Renting vs Buying

    As a new farmer, you500彩票手机软件下载 shouldn’t discount renting. Renting land can give you500彩票手机软件下载 a foot in the door, and will give you500彩票手机软件下载 more access to areas. The price of land varies a lot. As a rule of thumb, the better the land, the higher the price.

    Other questions to consider

    • What is the tax rate?
    • What is the cost of the land in the area I want to buy in?
    • Can I afford the land if interest rates increase?
    • What is a good price for the land?
    • Is there a road that goes to the piece of property?
    • Is the land prone to disasters?


    Buying farmland is serious business. You need to make sure that you500彩票手机软件下载 check every aspect before you500彩票手机软件下载 make a decision. Determining the site, the usability of the land, and asking fellow farmers about the land are key. Lastly, don’t over extend you500彩票手机软件下载rself financially.

    Further reading for new farmers

    Do you500彩票手机软件下载 have any more information that you500彩票手机软件下载 think needs adding?



    1. Hi thanks for the great resources! I am looking at the possibility of farming in the next 5 years once I’m done with some commitments. I was exploring the possibility of purchasing the land now and leasing it out till I’m ready. What are you500彩票手机软件下载r thoughts and how do you500彩票手机软件下载 recommend I do this?


      • My suggestion would be to scout out a few areas. Find out what the latest and is like.

        From there I would find out what you500彩票手机软件下载 can afford.

        If you500彩票手机软件下载 want to rent out the land get to know the farmers in the area because you500彩票手机软件下载 will be dealing with them. Also find out what the the normal rent per acre is.

        A lot of this comes down to knowing the farmers in the area.

        Let me know you500彩票手机软件下载r thoughts.

    2. New Farm Entrepreneur says:

      I want to be a farmer/rancher is it possible to do it full time instead of picking up a job as well to pay off loans, bills and rent? (If buying and renting land?) Or even just buying and farming 500 acres or less. (Talking cattle here) Also do you500彩票手机软件下载 have any information on Cattle farming? Beef and Milk?

    3. Hi Jain,
      I am looking to setup poultry environmental control shed in Canada. Soon I will migrate to Canada under the federal skill program. Kindly advise me that where I should select the place ,what is the procedure to buy a land and how it is expensive I mean what is the price one square feet of land in farming rural side, also let me know that how much does it cost to me,
      Looking forward to hearing from you500彩票手机软件下载.
      Kashmir khan

    4. Helal Uddin Ahmed says:

      I am new here in Canada. I would like to entered myself in to farming business here surrounding area of Toronto. But I do not have any experience in farming business but I am very much interested to work in this sector.
      I have some question and need you500彩票手机软件下载r suggestion and advice. Can you500彩票手机软件下载 please provide us the following question request:
      1). Should I need to have a training program on farming? If need then from where?
      2). How can we get the farming land? Government will provide Land? If so, then is it Grant Land from government? Lease from Government? Have to buy the land from Government or Private company?
      3). How we can sale the Farming products? where we can sale ? How we can sale? who are buyer?
      4). As an you500彩票手机软件下载nger farmer how we can be funded? what is the government contribution ?

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