Missouri Bans Foreign Ownership of Some Farmland

Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced a ban on agricultural land purchases by citizens and businesses from six nations if the property is within ten miles of critical military facilities. Parson says he had countries like “China and other adversarial nations” in mind when issuing an executive order on the topic.

The order puts the state Ag Department in charge of reviewing all proposed purchases of farmland by foreigners The Ag Department is to deny all proposed purchases within ten miles of military facilities by entities from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. Missouri is the latest state to restrict foreign ownership of U.S. farmland amid rising international tensions.

Arkansas recently ordered Syngenta, owned by ChemChina, to sell a 160-acre research farm. Foreign investors own 43.4 million acres, or 3.4 percent of privately-held agricultural land, which includes 474,000 acres in Missouri. The executive order doesn’t affect existing farmland ownership.

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