Did you know that foreign persons holding an interest in U.S. farm lands are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture? According to Nevada Farm Service Agency Executive Director, Clint Koble, “Any foreign person who acquires, transfers, or holds an interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report transactions no later than 90 days after the date of transaction.” For AFIDA (Agricultural Foreign Disclosure Act) purposes, agricultural land is defined as, “any land used for farming, ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more.”
Foreign investors must file AFIDA reports with the FSA office that maintains reports for the county where the land is located. Failure to report, filing a late report, or filing an inaccurate report can result in a penalty of fines up to 25% of the fair market value of the agricultural land. Disclosure reports are also required when there are changes in land use or changes in ownership. For example, reports are required when land use changes from nonagricultural to agricultural or when owner changes from foreign to non-foreign.
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.