Nevada's U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Executive Director Clint Koble reminds persons of foreign citizenship with an interest in agricultural lands in this country, that they must report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
"Any foreign person who acquires, transfers or holds any interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the transaction," explains Koble.
Foreign investors in agriculture must file reports as dictated by the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, with the FSA office that maintains reports for the county where the property is located. For information in finding local offices, go to http://www.usda/gov.
This site provides details on filing AFIDA reports, as well as additional information on FSA programs available to producers.
"Failure to report, filing a late report or filing an inaccurate report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25% of the fair market value of the agricultural land," Koble warns.
Disclosure reports are also required when there are changes in land use of properties in which foreigners are involved. For example, reports are required when land use changes from agricultural to non-agricultural or vice versa. Foreign investors must file a report when there is a change in the status of ownership as well, to or from a foreign owner or between foreign owners.
For AFIDA purposes, agricultural land is defined as any land used for farming, ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more.
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.
Although the Nevada FSA office issued the alert, the reports must be filed by foreign ag land interests throughout the West.