USDA Doesn’t Know How Much US AG Land Owned by Foreigners
WA 4th District Congressional House Rep Dan Newhouse plans to push legislation to hopefully fix a glaring national security issue facing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A new report says USDA cannot provide a complete list or data of all foreign-owned farmland
Last week the General Accountability Office (GAO) released a report indicating the USDA cannot provide data showing all foreign ownership of foreign lands.
According to information released by Newhouse's office:
(the) "United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cannot report reliable information to Congress, or the public, about where and how much U.S. agricultural land is held by foreign persons."
Newhouse said in part:
"This report is absolutely unacceptable and confirms one of our worst fears: that not only is the USDA unable to answer the question of who owns what land and where, but that there is no plan by the department to internally reverse this dangerous flaw that affects our supply chain and economy."
He said he will immediately introduce legislation requiring new accounting, information, and data policies at USDA to remedy the issue.
The report says outdated systems used by USDA, as well as failure to use digital technology, results in numerous gaps in the reporting system. Foreign ownership of US Farmland grew to an estimated 40 million acres in 2021. Exact figures beyond that are still unknown.
the GAO compiled the report because recently foreign ownership of US land, and farmland, has been considered a national security issue. Multiple states have now passed bans or limits on foreign farmland ownership, especially land that is close to sensitive locations such as military bases.
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Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff