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How To Use Commercial Farm Land To Generate Side Income

how to use commercial farm land to generate side income

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Published date:

February 08, 2018

Last updated date:

April 30, 2024

By Manny Manriquez

Whether you own a small farm or vast commercial farm land, there are many ways to turn this land into a side income worth protecting. What’s more is that you don’t have to dedicate this land strictly to farming, own farming equipment, or spend your days doing all of the heavy work. With a different point of view of what the land can be used for and some unique approaches to generating income, you can optimize your land for what works best for you.

Traditional Farming Fallacy

Farm land doesn’t have to be ‘farm land’! This fallacy often robs people of potential profits and even the lifestyle they wish they had. Start by reassessing what your acreage can be used for and you’ll successfully convert your land into a money making machine that works for you in more than one way. If diving into a different industry is too risky or you, consider taking a different approach but focused still on farming.

Specialty Crops & Organic Only

Small quantity purveyors of unique and/or organic crops can do quite well under the right circumstances and with the right relationships. Working directly with chefs & restaurateurs can help repurpose your farm acreage to suit the needs of these local or regional foodies. Small chain grocery stores, farmers markets, and co-ops are also great sales channels to consider. The list of specialty crops that can be successfully grown is quite extensive. They give the opportunity to grow field crops that may produce popular produce but that which has not as yet flooded the market.

Solar Farm Leases

10 acres of solar panels could provide up to 330 homes with electricity. And of course give you a nice chunk of passive income. There are plenty of hurdles to jump over before diving into your own solar farm, but the leg work ahead of time could be quite lucrative. In one of our previous posts on solar farm land we give some additional details surrounding potential profits and downsides, but this option could still remain viable.

‘Agrihoods’ Growing In Popularity

This option is dependent on multiple location factors, but leasing a portion of your commercial farm land for the purpose of residential growth could be another lucrative venture. Suburban residential developments have been sprawling amongst farmland over the past decade, giving families access to healthy food options grown a stone's throw away. With over 200 existing agrihoods already started across the United States, perhaps it’s time to dig into this trend even further?

Bee A Good Neighbor

This option wouldn’t use very much space on your property but the environmental upside and potential profits are certainly worth the effort. Colony collapses are threatening bees around the world, which has major implications for our environment, food supply, and well being. The cost of beekeeping is quite inexpensive and selling the honey won’t be difficult. We recommend Beepods as their beekeeping systems for farms and ranches are a great fit regardless of the size of your property.

Small Grain Growing

With the surge of new roasting grains and the supported health benefits, it won’t take much to turn your commercial farm land into a grain growing profit center. Some uses of small batch grain growing are; salads, toppings for dishes including desert, nutrition bars, and even beverages. For more on this alternative land use be sure to read our post on how small grain growers can cater to roasted grain enthusiasts.

Conservation Easement

Congress has given land owners a reward for their donation toward conservation easement. Here are some details:

  • Donor can deduct 50% of their adjusted gross income up to the amount of the gift.
  • Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income.
  • Allows a donor to carry the deductions forward for up to 15 years.

These can be quite lucrative over time, so reach out to an attorney and your financial professional to assess whether this option will work for you. With a little bit of research, some imagination, and of course some hustle, commercial farm land can be turned into multiple passive income profit centers, giving you peace of mind and perhaps the lifestyle you’re looking for.

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