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Top 5 States To Buy Farm Land

top 5 states to buy farm land

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Published date:

October 17, 2020

Last updated date:

July 17, 2023

By Manny Manriquez

Every state has different farming potential. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether a piece of land in a particular state can be used in agricultural terms. While you will have to consult a professional when purchasing any lot for farming purposes, we can introduce you to some basic facts about the top states for buying farming land. We have chosen and analyzed five of them. What makes a certain piece of land suitable for farming? As you may assume, there are more than a few details you should know about the land you are planning to buy and cultivate. Here are just some of them:
  • The area's climate may play the most crucial part here since the property in a state with four distinct seasons can never be valued the same as one in a desert.
  • The quality of soil at the particular property is one of the factors that determine the land value and the cultures that can be farmed.
  • How accessible is a piece of land you are thinking of purchasing? - Even the most fertile property is useless if it cannot be reached by mechanization and the workforce that is supposed to farm it.
Land prices and tax breaks are external factors that vary from one state to another. But, which states are the most popular choices among farmers and those who aspire to become one?


The most populous US state has mostly a Mediterranean and moderate climate, making it ideal for agriculture. The good news is that the central part of the state always has ranches and farms for sale.

What makes the Golden State so attractive?

The arable land is not the only thing that attracts farmers to the state of California. The moderate climate is a significant benefit for anybody moving to this state. If your dream is to make a comfortable living in an area with ample farming options, California might be a perfect choice.

How much will you be earning?

The average farming salary in California is around $50,800 as of June 26, 2023. Of course, you can always earn more, but be prepared to invest and work hard. The number of farms and ranches in California at the moment is above eighty thousand. Even though the average farm size is below the national average, all of them combined cover more than 25 million acres of land and provide almost half of the country with fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

How much do you need to get a farming property in California?

If you are thinking of starting your farming career in the Golden State, you should start preparing your budget on time, because the average price per acre of this fertile land will cost you around 7.3 thousand dollars. Of course, some financial loans and government programs offer certain incentives, so you should research those first.


Texas is the second-largest state both in acreage and population. It has more farms than any other state, and many of those are for sale. That should come as no surprise since only 5% of the area is not privately-owned. Texas is a leader in producing livestock and its products. When it comes to agricultural revenue, Texas comes second, right after California.

What agricultural products Texas is most famous for?

Here is a list of products Texans make, consume, and export, both nationally and internationally:
  • Cattle is definitely what the state is famous for. Twelve million head of cattle are worth some 10 billion USD. But the ranches are not just limited to beef production - milk produced by half a million dairy cows is valued at more than 2.5 billion USD.
  • More than a billion USD is made thanks to the production of broilers and eggs in Texas.
  • What makes Texas one of the top 5 states for buying farming land is cotton production - more than 1.8 billion USD per year is earned thanks to this.
  • Two million acres of corn feed millions of people, and the production accounts for slightly under 1.5 billion USD.
  • Wheat and rice are popular crops produced and widely used in Texas.

How much will you be able to make as a farmer in Texas?

The average annual wage for a farmer in Texas is 35,000 USD - it doesn't sound like much, but it can be just enough for living in rural areas. The cost of living in Texas is slightly below the national average, so if you are an experienced farmer, you can settle down near your land and enjoy the fruits of your labor, earning more than we have just mentioned.


What makes this state so special in terms of agriculture is that Vermont has an impressive number of people earning their income from farming. The state has a population of 645 thousand people who get their food at some of 245 farmers' markets.

Why is that so?

Farmers seem to be well connected to the market, so people are used to buying and consuming groceries that have been produced locally. These farmers' efforts have been recognized, which is why their average annual salary reaches 38 thousand dollars. However, you should know that the cost of living in this state is 16% above the national average, mainly due to heating expenses in wintertime. However, if you are ready to work hard during seasons that are good for farming and enjoy skiing and other winter sports a couple of months a year, Vermont might be your future home state! But, why would all that make you want to schedule your relocation with and move to Vermont? Well, the price of land in this state is 2,800 USD, which is below the national average. Since you already know about the mean wage you can expect as a farmer in Vermont, you can make no mistake if you decide to relocate to the second-least populated state within the USA. Buying farming land in Vermont can also mean improving the quality of your life in terms of health. The Organic Farming Association has helped many farmers switch to more sustainable agriculture and make healthier products. Also, there are programs connecting aspiring farmers with those selling or leasing farms and equipment.

What products is Vermont famous for?

Since 4 out of 5 acres of the state are covered in forests, there is not really too much room for growing crops. But, the maple trees have been relatively common here, so it should come as no surprise that Vermont is the American leader in producing maple syrup and similar products. The state also has a strong production of dairy products that are used and exported elsewhere. Since the growing number of cattle calls for the production of more food for the livestock, farmers are always in high demand. Consequently, buying a piece of land in Vermont can never be a mistake, if you are planning to farm it, that is.


The state of Nebraska is also an excellent place to buy farming land. It features two different climate zones, which allows for many plants to be cultivated. The eastern part of the state, actually two-thirds of Nebraska, has a humid continental climate, while the rest of the territory is in a semi-arid climate zone. The most attractive farming land is located in the eastern part.

Acres and dollars in Nebraska

Farming is widespread in Nebraska. In fact, the state's economy depends on it since agriculture brings 25 billion USD every year. Farms and ranches cover more than 90 percent of the total area (more precisely, 45 million acres). The number of farms and ranches is just below 50 thousand, which is rather impressive for a state with a population of 1.9 million.

What is Nebraska famous for?

The commodities that make Nebraska well-known nationally and internationally include livestock, animal feed, and the groceries that are widely used in the state and beyond. Here is what you can produce if you decide to buy a piece of agricultural land in Nebraska:
  • Beef and pork - the state is a national leader in the production of corn-fed, tender red meat. When it comes to pork, Nebraska comes sixth on the list of all American states in terms of swineherd size.
  • Milk and dairy - more than 150 million gallons of milk are produced every year;
  • Corn - the most widely grown crop in the state. It is used not only for feeding the livestock but also for the production of ethanol and other products.
  • Beans - Great Northern beans are trademark of the state, which is responsible for 83% of national production. Pinto, soybeans, and other edible species are also cultivated successfully.
  • Wheat and hay - half of the production is exported;
  • Sugarbeets - the state has over a century-long tradition of producing sugar from this crop;

How much can you earn as a farmer in Nebraska?

What makes this state so popular for farming is the possibility to earn a great living from your labor. As a beginner, you can earn some 20 thousand dollars a year, which is not bad at all. The yearly income of an experienced farmer in Nebraska amounts to more than 80 thousand dollars. With the cost of living some 5% under the national average, this salary can provide for quite a comfortable lifestyle. Starting a small farm in the Cornhusker State can be a great idea. You can expect a lot of support from the Department of Agriculture and many other organizations. Farmers-to-be are often offered training courses, tax breaks, and free land leases for the first year or two of their farming. The market for the placement of agricultural products is also thriving in Nebraska - more than 110 farmers markets prove it.

New York

New York is also one of the top states for buying farming land. Small urban farms are as popular as they will ever be - more than 700 of them are located within the five boroughs of NYC. The bigger ones cover over 7 million acres outside the city. The average price per acre of farming land in the state of New York is surprisingly low when compared to the price of properties in the city. An acre can be bought for 3,100 USD, which is far below the nation's median value. Sustainable farming is a big thing in the state, so many agricultural properties in the Hudson Valley practice it. If you decide to buy your piece of land in the area, you can expect access to funds and many training programs.

What can be grown in New York?

The agriculture of New York is mostly based on livestock and poultry, but there are also many crops grown in the state. Dairy farming brings a lot of profit, while apples, cherries, strawberries, potatoes, onions, grapes, and many other fruits and vegetables put New York among the USA's top food producers.

Frequently asked questions

  • Which state is the best choice for an aspiring farmer to start their career?
As you can see, these top 5 states for buying farming land are located in various US regions. Moving across the entire country to start an agricultural career elsewhere is not for everyone. If that is the case with you, maybe you can consider relocating to the nearest of the five.
  • What products should I focus on?
Again, there is no universal answer to this question. Your choice of crops should first depend on the climate in which you live. Naturally, not all the crops will thrive in any chosen clime zone. After that, you should consider the quality of the soil. Starting a farm without previous expert analysis of the ground is not a smart move. What is in demand? Why would you produce something for which you don't have a market? Of course, there are many more factors to consider when deciding what to produce, but these were the three most important ones.
  • Can I make a decent living out of farming?
Starting a farm is a risky endeavor, just like starting any other business. But, if you are ready to work hard and never stop learning, you can earn quite a good farming salary. The average values vary from one state to another, but so do the costs of living.

Final thoughts

If you're considering a career in farming, it's crucial to understand the market dynamics and consumer preferences in your chosen state. The demand for organic and sustainable agricultural products has been steadily increasing, and catering to this niche market can be a lucrative opportunity for farmers. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their food choices, opting for locally grown and environmentally friendly produce. The farm-to-table movement has gained significant traction across the United States in recent years. People are willing to pay a premium for fresh, locally sourced food, creating a direct market for farmers to sell their products. This trend is particularly evident in states like California, Vermont, and New York, where the proximity to urban centers provides easy access to a large customer base. By adopting sustainable farming practices, such as organic cultivation, integrated pest management, and regenerative agriculture techniques, farmers can meet the growing demand for eco-friendly products and contribute to environmental conservation. Implementing these practices can enhance the long-term viability of the land and ensure its productivity for future generations. Furthermore, technological advancements have revolutionized the agricultural sector. Precision farming techniques, including drones, satellite imagery, and sensor-based monitoring systems, enable farmers to optimize crop yields, reduce resource wastage, and make informed irrigation, fertilization, and pest control decisions. Embracing these innovations can significantly improve the profitability and sustainability of farming operations. Various government programs and organizations provide grants, loans, and educational resources to support aspiring farmers. Exploring these opportunities and tapping into the wealth of knowledge and expertise available within the agricultural community is advisable. Additionally, joining local farming associations and participating in farmer's markets can help establish valuable connections and gain insights into market trends and consumer preferences.

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