Statutes Regulating Ownership of
Agricultural Land

Compiled by:
 
Micah Brown
Staff Attorney
&
Nick Spellman
Research Fellow
 

Foreign ownership of U.S. land, specifically private agricultural lands, is an issue that traces to the origins of the United States. State laws vary widely and without a generalized or uniform approach. The following compilation includes state statutory prohibitions on foreign ownership of agricultural land, foreign ownership of other real property, reporting requirements, and corporate farming restrictions. It bears noting that some states’ laws restrict only ownership of agricultural lands while allowing for at least some level of ownership of non-agricultural land. Some states, such as Arizona, contain prohibitions on foreign ownership of public lands, which is outside the scope of this compilation. 

In some states, foreign persons and entities have the same property rights as the citizens of those states. In other states, however, foreign ownership of agricultural land is prohibited or significantly limited within the boundaries of the state. Approximately twenty-four states specifically forbid or limit nonresident aliens, foreign businesses and corporations, and foreign governments from acquiring or owning an interest in agricultural land within their state. A few states, such as Georgia, Maryland, and New Jersey have enacted statutes the permit foreign persons to purchase or hold real estate within their state to some degree; however, these states’ laws condition land ownership rights on certain factors. Although these laws do not contain language that strictly prohibits foreign ownership of real property within their state, these statutes could be construed as a restriction on foreign investments that are not expressly permitted under these states’ laws.

Additionally, some states require foreign persons and entities to report their purchase or ownership interest in farmland within their state. These state reporting statutes often correspond with the federal reporting law under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act.

These compilations are only an aid to research. State courts and federal courts, including United States Supreme Court decisions, have interpreted and continue to interpret these statutes. Further, this publication does not include case annotations, which a researcher must consult to thoroughly understand any particular statute. As such, these charts are intended for use solely as an educational tool and research aid, and not as a substitute for individual legal advice.  Additionally, the reader is cautioned that these laws are subject to changes that are often significant.

For each state, the first column of the chart includes a reference and link to the text of the relevant state constitutional and statutory provisions. Each compilation contains the code sections relevant to the topics found at the head of the chart and are linked to the specific language at issue. This compilation was last updated on November 30, 2023.

State Relevant Provision(s) Prohibition Permission Reporting Corporate Farming
Alabama Ala. Const. § 34

Ala. Code § 35-1-1

Ala. Code § 35-1-1.1

Yes Yes* None None
Alaska None None Not Expressly None None
Arizona Ariz. Const. art. X, § 11

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37-240

Yes—public land only Not Expressly None None
Arkansas Ark. Const. art. II, § 20

Ark. Code Ann. § 2-3-111

Ark. Code Ann. § 18-11-101 ;18-11-110

Ark. Code Ann. §§ 18-11-801 to 18-11-805

Yes Yes* Yes Yes, but limited
California Cal. Const. art. I, § 20

Cal. Civ. Code § 671

None Yes None None
Colorado Colo. Const. art. II, § 27 None Yes None None
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47-7a None Yes None None
Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, § 305

Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, § 306

Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, § 308

None Yes None None
Florida Fla. Const. art. I, § 2

Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 692.201 to 692.205

Yes Yes* Yes Yes, but limited
Georgia Ga. Code Ann. § 1-2-11 None Yes** None None
Hawaii HI Organic Act § 73(f)

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 171-68

Yes—public land only Not Expressly None None
Idaho Idaho Code Ann. § 55-103

Idaho Code Ann. § 58-313

Yes Yes* None Yes, but limited
Illinois 765 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 50/1 to 50/8

765 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 60/7

None Yes Yes None
Indiana Ind. Code Ann. §§ 1-1-16-6, 8 to 11

Ind. Code Ann. § 32-22-2-1

Ind. Code Ann. § 32-22-2-5

Ind. Code Ann. §§ 32-22-3-0.5 to 32-22-3-6

Ind. Code Ann. §§ 32-22-4-1 to 32-22-4-2

Yes Yes* Yes—business entities only Yes
Iowa

Iowa Const. art. I, § 22

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 9H.1 to 9H.5

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 9I.1 to 9I.12

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 10.1 to 10.14

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 10B.1 to 10B.7

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 202B.101 to 202B.402

Iowa Code Ann. § 511.8A

Iowa Code Ann. § 558.44

Yes Yes* Yes Yes
Kansas

Kan. Const. Bill of Rts. § 17

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 17-5904

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 17-7505

Yes—business entities only None Yes—foreign for-profit corporations and cooperatives only Yes
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 381.290 to 381.300 Yes None None None
Louisiana La. Const. Ann. art. I, § 4

La. Stat. Ann. § 9:2717.1

Yes Yes* None Yes
Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 7, §§ 31 to 36

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 33, § 451

None Yes Yes—foreign corporations and partnerships only None
Maryland Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 14-101 None Yes** None None
Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 184, § 1 None Yes None None
Michigan

MI CONST Art. 10, § 6

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 554.135

None Yes None None
Minnesota

Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 500.24

Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 500.221

Yes None Yes Yes
Mississippi

Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 84

Miss. Code Ann. § 11-39-1 to 11-39-3

Miss. Code Ann. § 29-1-75

Miss. Code Ann. § 89-1-23

Yes None Committee monitors foreign ownership None
Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 350.010 to 350.040

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 442.560 to 442.592

Yes None Yes Yes
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 35-30-103 Yes Not Expressly None Yes, but limited
Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 4-107

Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-402 to 76-415

Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1520 to 76-1524

Yes None Yes Yes
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 111.055 None Yes None None
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 477:20 None Yes None None
New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 46:3-18 None Yes** None None
New Mexico None (but see N.M. Stat. Ann. § 45-2-111) None Not Expressly None None
New York N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 10 None Yes None None
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 64-1 None Yes None None
North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code Ann. §§ 10-06.1-01 to 10-06.1-27

N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 47-01-09

N.D. Cent. Code Ann. §§ 47-10.1-01 to 47-10.1-06

Yes None Yes Yes
Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2105.16

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 5301.254; 5301.256; 5301.99

Yes Yes* Yes None
Oklahoma

Okla. Const. art. XXII, § 1

Okla. Const. art. XXII, § 2

Okla. Stat. tit. 18, §§ 951 to 956

Okla. Stat. tit. 60, §§ 121 to 125

Yes None None Yes
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 273.255 Yes—public land only Not Expressly None None
Pennsylvania

68 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 22 to 24; 28 to 31

68 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 41 to 47

Yes Yes* State monitors AFIDA reporting None
Rhode Island 34 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 34-2-1 None Yes None None
South Carolina

S.C. Const. art. III, § 35

S.C. Code Ann. §§ 27-13-10 to 27‑13‑40

Yes None None None
South Dakota

S.D. Const. art. VI, § 14

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 43-2A-1 to 43‑2A-7

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 47-9A-1 to 47‑9A-23

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-2-101

Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-2-102

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 66-2-301 to 66-2-306

Yes Yes* Yes Yes
Texas Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 5.005 None Yes None None
Utah Utah Code Ann. §§ 63L-13-101 to 63L-13-202 Yes Not Expressly None Yes, but limited
Vermont Vt. Const. CH II, § 66 None Yes None None
Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 55.1-100; 55.1-507 to 509 Yes Yes* None Yes, but limited
Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 64.16.005 None Yes None None
West Virginia

W. Va. Const. art. II, § 5

W. Va. Code Ann. § 11A-3-45a

W. Va. Code Ann. 11A-3-48a

W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-1-21

None° Yes None None°
Wisconsin

Wis. Const. art. I, § 15

Wis. Stat. § 182.001

Wis. Stat. §§ 710.01 to 710.02

Yes Yes* Yes Yes
Wyoming Wyo. Const. art. I, § 29 None Yes None None

* State Code contains law(s) that permit and prohibit foreign individuals and/or entities from acquiring, holding, or owning an interest in real estate located within the boundaries of their state.

** State Code contains law(s) that include restrictions on certain foreign individuals and/or entities from acquiring, holding, or owning an interest in real property within the state; however, these laws derive from legislation enacted in the late-1700s and are likely not enforceable as currently written.

° West Virginia enacted in 2023 a law (W. Va. Code Ann. §§ 11-A-3-45a, -48a) restricting certain foreign purchases of real property located within the state, but the restriction limits these foreign investors from participating or purchasing property at a public auction. Because of the scope of this chart and the limited circumstances in which the state’s restriction applies, West Virginia is not credited as having a restriction in this chart. Nevertheless, readers should be aware this type of law restricting certain foreign investments may exist in different states.