Foreign-owned ag land has grown by 27 million acres since the 1970s, according to a report

Foreign ownership of U.S. ag land has been a hot topic over the last year with it getting the attention of landowners, and the powers in Washington.

The American Farm Bureau took a closer look recently at who owns the most and where.

AFBF found foreign ownership has grown by 27 million acres since federal data was released to the public in the 70s. Out of more than 3,000 counties and parishes worldwide, 79 percent of those have at least one foreign investor holding land. That brings the nationwide total to a little more than 3 percent of all privately-owned ag properties.

Of those foreign investors, 50 percent is held by Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Washington has heavily debated Chinese ownership of ag land recently, especially purchases near military installations. The Farm Bureau found China ranks 18th on the list, owning 383,000 acres in the United States. That accounts for less than 1 percent of all foreign holdings.