Test Before You Invest
Purchasing agricultural farmland is equally as important as buying your first home. You’ll have to look at several properties before you find the one you’ll call your dream home or… should we say… dream farmland. To decide to jump into buying land, you must do what all house hunters do:
- Create a pros and cons list
- Decide on non-negotiables
- Schedule a home inspection | Schedule a Land Nutritional Inspection
- Identify potential pain points
- Find a Real Estate Agent you can trust | Find an Agronomist you can trust
- Budget for home maintenance, renovation, and repair | Budget for renovation costs based on a land nutritional analysis and aftermarket changes.
The best thing you can do before purchasing farmland is equally important as when you are in the new home process. You must hire a skilled and knowledgeable inspector who will go above and beyond to point out the inadequacies of a new home. The same thing can be said for purchasing farmland. You must test the acidity and nutrients of the soil to test out the inadequacies of the potential new land, and keep in mind the proper nutrient and acidity levels for the specific crop you would like to grow.
This can be accomplished with the use of agricultural analytical services.
The agricultural soil test should include the following:
- Soluble Salts Ec
- % Lime Ca CO3
- % Organic Matter
- Nitrates (N03-N)
- Ammonium (NH4-N)
- Phosphorus (Olsen-P)
- Potassium (K)
- Sulfates (S)
- Calcium (Ca)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Sodium (Na)
- Zinc (Zn)
- Copper (Cu)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Iron (Fe)
- Boron (B)
- Cation Bases
- % Base Saturation
- Calcium % of CEC
- Magnesium % of CEC
- Potassium % of CEC
- Sodium % of CEC
Crops consistently exposed to water in their soil due to improper drainage can lead to rot, blight, and mold. Proper soil drainage alleviates these diseases and creates an environment for predatory insects. If a test is less than desirable, the purchasers will have to spend time and money improving the soil drainage system.
Understanding Your Budget and Operation Needs
The first step in finding the best agricultural farmland is understanding your budget and operation needs. This includes knowing how much land you need, what type of farming you plan to do, and how much money you can afford to spend. understanding
Once you understand your needs well, you can start narrowing down your search area. Consider factors such as the type of soil and climate in different areas and the proximity to markets and agricultural support services.
Researching Different Areas and Climates
Once you have a general idea of where to look for farmland, it’s essential to research different areas and climates in more detail. Some factors to consider include:
- Soil type: Different crops require different types of soil. For example, corn and soybeans need well-drained, fertile soil, while wheat and barley can tolerate poorer soils.
- Climate: The climate of an area will determine what crops can be grown and when. For example, fruits and vegetables need a warm climate, while grains and oilseeds can be grown in cooler climates.
- Proximity to markets: It’s essential to be close to markets where you can sell your products. This will save you money on transportation costs and make it easier to get your products to customers fresh.
- Proximity to agricultural support services: Access to agricultural support services, such as farm equipment rental, seed and fertilizer suppliers, and marketing assistance, is essential for any successful farm operation.
Assessing the Quality of the Soil and Water
The soil and water quality is essential for a successful farm operation. Before you buy or lease any farmland, it’s essential to have the soil and water tested by a qualified professional.
Soil tests can reveal the nutrient content of the soil, as well as any potential problems, such as salinity or acidity. Water tests can reveal the quality of the water and any potential contaminants.
Considering the Topography and Other Physical Features of the Land
The topography and other physical features of the land can also significantly impact the success of your farm operation. For example, steep hills can make it difficult to farm with machinery, and wetlands may not be suitable for certain types of crops.
It’s essential to consider the land’s topography and other physical features when choosing farmland. Visit the property and walk around to get a feel for the layout.
Evaluating the Community and Agricultural Support Services
The community and agricultural support services in an area can also play a role in the success of your farm operation. Choosing an area with a supportive community and a robust agricultural sector is essential.
When evaluating the community, consider factors such as:
- Is there a local agricultural testing partner like AGQ Labs?
- Are there any agricultural cooperatives or other organizations that support farmers?
- Is there a local college or university with an agricultural program?
- Is the community supportive of agriculture?
Finding the best agricultural farmland can be time-consuming, but it’s essential to research and choose a piece of land well-suited to your needs and operation. By following the tips in this article, you can increase your chances of finding the best possible farmland for your farm.