Farm Land for Rent: Higher Land Prices Preventing Farmers from Purchasing Land

17 September '13

Farmers throughout Canada are searching with different parameters, and for different purposes, these days. Many are now looking for farm land for rent, rather than for farm land for sale. Farming may never have been an overly glamorous business, and arguably those who chose it as a profession weren't the get-rich-quick types. Now however, rising land prices are shutting many would-be farm owners and operators out of ownership, and forcing them to rethink what it means to be a farmer in such times. For many, farm land for rent proves to be the better way to go.  
Recently we came across an article in the Globe and Mail that argued rising prices are preventing people from their dreams of buying farm land. While this is discouraging for farm operators whose dream is to own farm land, it does suggest there will be more farm operators looking for farm land for rent. According to statistics, land prices have continued to rise since the 1990's, with especially big jumps (14.81%, and 19.46% in 2011 and 2012 respectively). In 2012, prices rose most dramatically in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  
The article tells the story of the Frenchs, a family that immigrated to Manitoba from the U.K. and purchased their farm land in 2006 for about $400 per acre.  Their farm is now home to 180 grass-fed cattle and a few dozen heritage breed hogs.  While this family's decision to leave their homeland in search of better farming opportunities mirrors many European farmers, that opportunity seems to be shrinking. In the 7 years since they first purchased their land the French family says their land worth has nearly doubled to $700 per acre. Global demand for arable land is a definite factor in these rising land prices.  
So what's a farm operator to do? Looking for farm land for rent may simply be more realistic for farmers now, rather than buying their own land. Land owners who either have extra farm land they are not working, or land that is not being worked at all can be a great resource for those looking to pursue their agricultural dreams.