Foreign-owned agricultural land in the U.S. amounted to about 40 million acres at the end of 2021. Canada remains the largest outside owner, followed by the U.K. and Europe. The growing trend of foreign ownership has raised flags in the last several years, particularly as non-allied countries such as China make and retain purchases of high-value farmland.

Many states have taken it upon themselves to limit outside interests in domestic land purchases. Lawmakers in 36 states have proposed legislation on the issue, ranging from acreage caps to full-on bans on certain countries. Similar legislation is expected this legislative session.

USDA data shows Chinese ownership is still less than 1% of the nation’s total foreign-owned acreage. However, federal law does not regulate foreign ownership. Bipartisan congressional interest could change this.

Read more on foreign farmland ownership in the U.S. here.