The question about who is buying US farmland comes up quite often from different sources. Historically, farmers and ranchers purchase the larger share of agricultural land that comes up for sale in an area.
Part of the land is sold quietly between related parties or between landowner and tenant. The rest is sold in the open market through a private treaty listing or auction.
Typically, farmers buy 70 to 80% of the good farmland that comes up for sale in the grainbelt states. Local and out of the area investors (individuals) buy another 20% of the farmland that is sold leaving a small percentage purchased by others including institutional or corporate buyers in states where allowed.
Recent survey data shown below from the Tenth District Federal Reserve documents the share of farmland purchased by farmers in the district during recent years. Other grainbelt states would have similar numbers. (The Tenth District covers Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, parts of western Missouri, and parts of northern New Mexico.)