Why Do Terrain Comparisons Matter When Buying Farmland?

FBN Network

Mar 28, 2024

Terrain comparisons to the county can help farmers decide whether to purchase a new parcel of farmland by providing valuable insights into the land's topography and water drainage patterns. This information is crucial for assessing the land's suitability for agricultural operations.

When interpreting terrain comparison information, it is important to understand how the terrain characteristics can impact your decision. 

In the free guide Before You Buy: 4 Farmland Factors to Consider from FBN® Finance, farmers can learn about terrain comparisons and other essential factors to know when purchasing land. Download your guide here or continue reading below to gain insights.

3 Terrain Considerations

1. Farmland Slope

Farmland slope information helps farmers evaluate water runoff and erosion control. Steep slopes may be more prone to erosion, which can lead to soil loss and reduced productivity, while gentle slopes may allow for better water infiltration and drainage.

2. Elevation 

Elevation can also play a role in determining a parcel’s suitability for certain crops. Different crops have specific elevation requirements, and some may thrive at higher elevations while others may prefer lower elevations.

3. Terrain Wetness Index

The terrain wetness index provides insights into water accumulation propensity. This information is particularly relevant for assessing the land's drainage capabilities. Excessive water accumulation can lead to waterlogged soil, which can negatively impact crop growth and yield. For instance, if you plan to grow crops that require well-drained soil, a high wetness index may raise concerns.

It's important to note that while terrain comparisons are valuable, they should be considered alongside other important factors such as: 

  • Soil productivity

  • Access to water sources

  • Long-term investment value

  • Your financial position

By considering the terrain comparison data in relation to your farming goals and practices, you can make an informed decision about a potential land purchase. Consulting with agricultural experts or agronomists can also provide additional guidance in assessing the land's suitability for your farming operation.

Want to learn what other factors to assess in addition to terrain comparisons? Download your free guide Before You Buy: 4 Farmland Factors to Consider from FBN Finance here.

Get Terrain Comparison Information with AcreVision℠ from FBN

If you’re looking for terrain comparisons to county information before making a farmland purchase, FBN developed an evaluation tool to help you get the insights you need to make an informed buying decision.

AcreVision, which is available for free to FBN members, is an innovative farmland evaluation system designed to assist farmers in making informed decisions about potential land purchases by providing vital insights into specific farmland parcels. This information includes soil types, comparable sales, terrain information, and other details. 

The terrain comparison information, which includes farmland slope, elevation, and terrain wetness index, is derived from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It allows farmers to understand the land's characteristics and how they may impact farming practices.

Try AcreVision for free today by clicking here.

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The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. The information and opinions expressed by others in this material are their own and are not endorsed or approved by FBN or its affiliates.

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FBN Network

Mar 28, 2024

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