Top 10 Best States to Start a Farm in 2022

The Great Resignation of 2021 caused caused many people to reconsider their careers and look towards the rural lifestyle. As a result, careers in farming are thriving across many states in America. Whether you are thinking about starting a new farm or returning to your family’s land, this endeavor will require a lot of patience, passion, and planning. 

If you’re returning to a farming community, the state in which your farm resides might be one of the most important considerations in your planning process each year ahead. Each of America’s 50 states have their own unique attributes. Buying acreage and starting a farm can be challenging no matter where you reside, so we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best states to start a farm in 2022. 

1. Montana

Montana has won first place as the best state to start a farm in a recent survey conducted by Lawnstarter. Among the 50 states, Montana has the lowest average per-acre cost of farmland. It is the top supplier of beef and it leads the nation’s production of organic certified wheat, lentils, flax, dry peas, and honey. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $930

Average Farm Size: 2,137 acres

Number of Farms: 27,100

Commodity: Wheat, hay, haylage, barkey, lentils, peas chickpeas, canola, flaxseed, safflower, oats, sugarbeets, and legumes. 

State Agriculture Overview: 

2. Kansas 

Kansas is located in the center of the United States and is known for being a major producer of wheat, grain sorghum, and beef. Today, ranches and family-owned farms account for most of its agriculture industry which is worth around $20 billion. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre:$ 2,100

Average Farm Size: 780 acres

Number of Farms: 58,600

Commodity: Corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, hay, haylage, cotton, sunflower, oats, canola, and barley.

State Agriculture Overview: 

3. North Dakota 

North Dakota agriculture includes much more than just commodities and crops. Agriculture education, agritourism, agribusiness, food processing, local food and farmers’ markets all contribute to the state’s thriving industry. It is also known to be the number one producer of honey in the nation. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $1,820

Average Farm Size: 1,512 acres

Number of Farms: 26,000 

Commodity: Soybeans, corn, wheat, canola, hay, haylage, potatoes, sunflower, barley, flaxseed, lentils, oats, chickpeas, rye, and sugarbeets.

State Agriculture Overview: 

4. Texas

Texas has long been regarded as the agricultural Mecca of the United States. Because of its high calcium concentration, Blackland soil is still considered among Texas’ most fertile soil while the Coastal Plains are great for farming and ranching due to their abundant water supply and flat area.

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $2,380

Average Farm Size: 510 acres

Number of Farms: 247,000

Commodity: Cotton, hay, corn, sorghum, wheat, peanuts, potatoes, melons, grapefruit, soybeans, cabbage, pumpkins, oranges, sunflower, spinach, oats, cucumbers, sugarcane, pecans, mushrooms, and haylage.

State Agriculture Overview: 

5. Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s impressive agricultural impact and commodities have put them on the map in the national rankings, #1 for rye, #2 for beef cows and winter wheat, and #4 for pecans. It is a safe place, very affordable, and an ideal place to live. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $2,020

Average Farm Size: 446 acres

Number of Farms: 77,200

Commodity: Wheat, hay, haylage, cotton, corn, soybeans, sorghum, peanuts, rye, canola, oats, pecans and mushrooms. 

State Agriculture Overview: 

6. Iowa

Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production with 1.5 billion bushels of corn grown, which creates nearly 27% of all American ethanol. Iowa’s land is flat, landlocked, and used as farmland.

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $7,740

Average Farm Size: 359 acres

Number of Farms: 84,900

Commodity: Corn, soybeans, hay, haylage, and oats.

State Agriculture Overview: 

7. Wyoming

Wyoming is the 9th largest state in the United States. More than 91% of land in Wyoming is classified as rural. It ranks #8 nationwide in barley production, #20 in Hay, #33 in wheat production and 4th in lambs, and sheep. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $790

Average Farm Size: 2,377 acres

Number of Farms: 12,200

Commodity: Hay, haylage, corn, barley, wheat, and sugarbeets. 

State Agriculture Overview: 

8. Colorado 

Colorado boasts more than just majestic mountains and outdoor adventures, it’s also an abundant agricultural powerhouse. Agriculture contributes around $40 billion annually to the state’s economy. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $1,610

Average Farm Size: 815 acres

Number of Farms: 39,000

Commodity: Hay, haylage, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, millet, barley, sunflower, peaches, and sugarbeets.

State Agriculture Overview: 

9. South Dakota

South Dakota has often been referred to as “the land of infinite variety.” Agriculture is the life-blood and #1 industry of South Dakota, with an annual economic effect of roughly $21 billion. It consistently ranked in the top 10 states for the production of hay, sunflowers, rye, honey, soybeans, corn, wheat, and cattle.

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre: $2,190

Average Farm Size: 1,469 acres

Number of Farms: 29,400

Commodity: Corn, hay, haylage, wheat, sorghum, millet, oats, safflower, peas, and barley.

State Agriculture Overview:

10. Kentucky

Kentucky’s bluegrass region contains the state’s best farmland. The bluegrass state is a cornucopia of agricultural commodities. Kentucky’s bluegrass region contains the state’s best farmland and Crider soils that are deep, well-drained, and extremely productive, ideal for growing Kentucky’s top commodities such as wheat, soybeans, corn, and hay. 

Farm Real Estate Average Value per Acre:$4,000

Average Farm Size: 174 acres;

Number of Farms: 74,100;

Commodity: Corn, soybeans, hay, haylage, tobacco, and wheat.

State Agriculture Overview:

Next Steps For Future Farmers. 

If buying farmland is in your future, the following considerations might have a very important impact on price and quality of your land. 

  1. Economic – This factor includes the land cost, acquisition/lease terms and conditions, and benefits. To secure a high return on investment, you must conduct a feasibility analysis of the preferred farm location.
  2. Edaphic – This pertains to the farmland’s soil conditions such as fertility, porosity, structure, texture, and consistency. This will help you determine what crop/fruit/vegetable is the best choice to plant and grow. 
  3. Climatic – This refers to the rainfall, humidity, wind, and temperature that shall all be favorable for the future farm enterprise you will choose.
  4. Biotic – This includes animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and protists. A biotic factor is any living organism that can be harmful or beneficial that shapes its environment and farmland. 
  5. Accessibility – This means farmland should be easily managed and must have easy access to essential supplies, equipment, and facilities. 

Review these recommendations and take a look at the sources below for more helpful information about how to chose the right location for your farm. 

Land Values 2021 Summary

Farms and Land in Farms 2021 Summary

The Outlook for U.S. Agriculture – 2022

2022 Farm Sector Income Forecast

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