Iowa Land for Sale
Iowa is the most developed state in America. Development is not just houses, skyscrapers and parking lots. It is agriculture as well. And when all the cornfields and soybean cropland is totaled together there is less undeveloped land in Iowa than anywhere in the United States. Fewer than 1% of the tallgrass prairie that once blanketed Iowa remains; all but 5% of the state's wetlands have been filled in; and almost all the forests have been converted to cropland which accounts for six of every ten acres of land use in the state.
So when you go shopping for rural land in Iowa you are most likely going to be shopping for chunks of farm land. Iowa has a long tradition of such land sales. In 1842 the Sac and Fox Indians sold 12 million acres to the federal government which created 40 present-day Iowa counties. Nearly one third of all of the Hawkeye State was added in a single transaction. There has been a dramatic sell-off of historic Iowa farmland in the past half-century. In the 1940s there were 215,000 farms in the state; today there are fewer than 90,000 and the number is falling.
Not all Iowa farms are created equal. Some come with timber reserves for hunting. Others feature frontage on some of the state's glacial lakes. Others serve up impossibly rich, tillable soil for as far as the eye can see. Most farms are not sold whole and you should be able to find a handful of acres to satisfy any recreational or aspirational desire in rural Iowa.
If you are looking for a unique way to scout Iowa land consider the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa - a week-long recreational excursion that has taken place every year since 1973. More than 8,000 riders dip their tires in the Missouri River and 472 miles later dip their tires in the Mississippi River. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are defined by rivers.
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