NC Landowners Trust Farm Operators With Conservation Practices
While you may have heard the term ‘absentee landowner’, it might be more appropriate to use the term ‘non-operating landowner (NOL)’ as highlighted by the title of this recent report by American Farmland Trust. In North Carolina, 337 male and female NOLs completed the survey and results are summarized in a four-page brief.
With an average age of 72, one-third of NOLs farmed in the past and 44% helped their parents farm. Almost two-thirds of NOLs did not live on the land they rent to others, but most lived less than an hour away with a median distance of 38 miles. Median acres owned by NOLs was 61, with 40 acres rented out for primarily crop production. Close to two-thirds stated that the next owner of the land will likely be a relative who will also rent it out.
This report indicated that two-thirds of the NOLs leased the cropland to a family member, a friend, or a neighbor, and have done so for median of 12 years through a verbal agreement. Furthermore, an overwhelming 90% of NOLs trusted their operator to make good conservation decisions. Similarly, NOLs prioritized keeping the land in farming, the needs of the farm operator, and soil quality as factors the NOL considered when making management decisions about their land.