USDA issues reminder to foreign agricultural investors

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe

Ford County USDA Farm Service Agency executive director CZ Thompson issued a reminder via news release on Nov. 30, stating that any foreign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

"Any foreign person who acquires, transfers or holds any interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction," Thompson said.

All foreign investors must file Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act reports with the FSA county office that maintains reports for the county where the land is located.

“Failure to file a report, filing a late report or filing an inaccurate report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land,” Thompson said.

AFIDA defines agricultural land as any land used for farming, ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more.

Additionally, disclosure reports are required when there are changes in land use, such as when land use is changed from nonagricultural to agricultural or from agricultural to nonagricultural.

Foreign investors must also file a report when there is a change in the status of ownership, for example when an owner changes from foreign to non-foreign, from non-foreign to foreign or from foreign to foreign.

The data gained from these disclosures is used to prepare an annual report to the president and Congress concerning the effect of such holdings upon family farms and rural communities in the United States.

For more information regarding AFIDA and FSA programs, contact the Ford County FSA office at 620-855-3515 or visit the USDA website at www.usda.gov.