According to its own surveys of non-operating landowners spanning the past two decades, Farmers National Company is seeing more than a doubling in those owners who anticipate selling their land in the next few years.
Given that the amount of ag land sold in the open market each year is very small at less than 1% of the 900 million acres of land classified as agricultural in this country, any increase in the number of farms and ranches for sale will still be small. What is telling is the fact that there is increased interest in selling the farm or ranch by non-operating owners.
So who’s thinking of selling land? At any given time, the larger share of who sells farmland would be estates, trusts, and recent inheritors. Land sales activity from this group is fairly steady over time. The variation in the amount of land sold comes from either an increase in farmer selling due to financial reasons or from individual non-operating or investor landowners deciding to sell.
Currently, farmer selling is not generally financial driven. Therefore, it is the non-operating landowner, who for various reasons is thinking about selling.
Normally the calls from landowners thinking about selling their land slows significantly as the winter land sales season winds down and transitions into the slow time of sales during spring and early summer. But at Farmers National Company, more calls than the past few years are coming in during this time from landowners considering a sale of their land later in the year. Agents throughout the company are talking to prospective sellers and booking sales for the months ahead.
The direction of the land market and the general economy over the months and years ahead will influence selling decisions by non-operating landowners. Stay tuned as the year unfolds.