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Some people were born to farm. Unfortunately, not all of those people happened to be born into farming families. If you are interested in embarking in a career in the agricultural industry, but haven't been fortunate enough to inherit the family business, the first step is considering how and where to acquire your farming land. While Minnesota is known for pristine lakes, majestic forests and rich wetland habitats, its moderate climate also makes it an ideal location for the farming industry. Historically, Minnesota also developed into an agricultural juggernaut as a result of its proximity to the Mississippi River, a natural transportation thoroughfare for the shipping of agricultural products. In fact, its geographic location, its nutrient rich fields, and its temperate weather, make Minnesota a leading state in the farming industry for the United States. So, if you are considering embarking on a career in farming, take a look at all Minnesota has to offer!
The climate can vary dramatically between the northern and southern regions of Minnesota. The humidity is fairly low here, moderating out the temperature extremes to a certain extent. Temperatures throughout June, July, and August average in the range of seventy degrees, but can reach as high as 100. Minnesota falls are cool and dry. Winters are certainly cold, but that is to be expected in this region of the country. The spring season is relatively short, cool and wetter than other seasons. In the northern part of the state, the average growing season is 100 days while the southern part of the state has a growing season averaging 150 days.
Crop farming is common on lands which have been cleared of forests and also on the prairies of Minnesota. Corn and soybeans are among the most important crops produced in the state. With the high level of corn production, ethanol is also an important product of Minnesota. In addition to corn and soybeans, Minnesota farmers produce oats, sweet corn, green peas, spring wheat, sugar beets, canola, beans, sunflowers, and potatoes. Fruit crops include many fruit tree orchards and other perennial crops such as strawberries. Minnesota is also home to wild rice farms. Minnesota farming is essential to the economy of the state as a whole. Many individuals depend upon the farming industry to financially support themselves and their families. In fact, the agriculture and food industry is reported to be the second largest employer in Minnesota.
So, now that you have identified Minnesota as the place where you want to embark on your farming enterprise, you must do a lot of additional homework. There are countless considerations to make before purchasing your own piece of Minnesota crop land and the more methodical and careful you are, the greater your chances of successfully identifying and securing the perfect piece of Minnesota farmland. Below are a few of the steps you will want and need to take to secure your own piece of Minnesota farmstead:
1. Secure Expert Advice:
Having a real estate agent who is familiar with the ins and outs of the rural farmland market can be critical as you embark on your farming adventure.
2. Identify the Perfect Location:
The right parcel of land will depend a lot upon what type of crop you intend to farm. Large scale operations such as corn, soybeans and grains will require large amounts of tillable acreage. You will want to carefully consider the climate when you calculate where your farmland should be located. Is the crop you intend to farm amenable to the climate of your farm's location? Are the properties of the soil good for your intended crop? What are the sources of water and are they sustainable? Is the land or available water sources polluted in anyway? Are there easements or environmental restrictions impacting your intended use of the property? Is there adequate sunlight to grow your crops? Do you have readily available access to your intended markets? How much will transportation costs be approximately? A real estate agent who is familiar with the farming market will be able to provide some guidance in this area and will certainly be able to recommend other experts to assist you when questions exist outside of their expertise. Additionally, some farm properties change hands without ever being advertised on the open market, even in today's modern age of internet. Local real estate experts, such as those as LandBin.com, can help you identify available properties even if they are not widely advertised.
Take a look at the area surrounding the cropland. Are there environmental concerns or large impending residential developments? Such issues can negatively impact your prospective farm, so watch out.
3. Be willing to compromise:
Don't pigeon hole yourself into a particular market. While Minnesota has a fairly temperate growing climate, some crops are more well-suited to particular region by virtue of the temperatures, rainfall and characteristics of the soil. Keep an open mind to try different crops depending on where land is available.
4. Have a budget and stick to it:
Having realistic expectations for the costs of farming as well as the potential income you will likely receive can help you identify the perfect parcel of Minnesota farmland that is within your budget.
5. Plan the Finances:
If you need a loan, make sure you shop around for the lender who can give you the best deal. There may also be incentives in the form of government grants or tax breaks to engage in certain types of farming. Making sure you take advantage of these deals can help the financial success of your farm. Many new farmers rely on outside employment to foot the farming bills for the first couple of years. Searching for a job before buying the farmland may be advantageous since you can identify a parcel of land within a reasonable commute from your other job. When planning your budget, be sure to include buildings that may need to be constructed, equipment you might need to purchase, and help you may need to hire. These expenses will dramatically impact your bottom line and failure to plan for them from the outset may spell certain disaster. Having a property inspector take a look at any existing constructed buildings can help identify areas of weakness that may require repairs in the near future.
6. Make sure your intended use of the property comports with any existing zoning regulations:
Take a look at easements and other encumbrances which can impact your interaction with the land. Having an attorney take a careful look at such details can be helpful as you navigate your way through an offer on a particular parcel of property.
7. Consider the tax implications of your purchase:
Property taxes can be complicated, so checking with the local tax assessor to see what you might be dealing with will be critical in your planning process.
Farming is a certainly a challenging occupation; however, the successful completion of a growing season carries tremendous personal satisfaction with it. Depending on the type of farming you engage in, it can also be a lucrative endeavor. As you embark on your journey and start looking for your own MN crop land, having the advice of a trusted rural/farm real estate expert will help give you some peace of mind that the decisions you are making are sound. Minnesota farming is an adventure, but with a little careful planning and a lot of due diligence, you can make sure that you are making sound decisions for you and your family in the future.