Why Does Soil Type Matter When Buying Farmland?

FBN Network

Mar 25, 2024

Soil type information is crucial for farmers to consider when deciding on new farmland to purchase. By understanding the soil types present on a piece of land that is for sale, farmers can assess its agricultural potential and suitability for specific crops.

Before You Buy: 4 Farmland Factors to Consider from FBN® Finance explains why soil type is one of the four essential factors a farmer should examine before making a final purchasing decision on a parcel of land. Download the free guide here or continue reading below to learn more about soil type.

Why Is Soil Type Information Important?

Crop Suitability 

Different crops have specific soil requirements, such as: 

  • pH levels

  • Organic matter content

  • Water-holding capacity

Farmers can match the soil types on the potential land to the crops they plan to grow, helping to ensure a higher chance of success.

Land Valuation 

Soil type information can also impact land values. Soils with higher productivity indices are often associated with higher land values due to their potential for higher crop yields. Farmers can use this information to evaluate the soil's productivity index specific to their region. 

For example, in Illinois, soil productivity is measured using the Illinois Soil Productivity Index (ILPI). The ILPI rates soils in Illinois for suitability for several major crops under best management practices. Like other soil PIs, it summarizes multiple factors that affect the productivity of soils into one simple number. It’s a notable example of a soil PI because of its wide adoption in farmland real estate by farmers, appraisers, and tax assessors.

Terrain Factors

Lastly, consider the terrain information provided, such as:

  • Farmland slope

  • Elevation

  • Terrain wetness index

These factors can influence water drainage and accumulation, which can affect crop management decisions.

By considering soil type information about farmland they’re interested in purchasing, farmers can ensure the soil is suitable for their farming goals and practices prior to making a purchase.

RELATED: 5 Strategies to Achieve Healthy Soil

Get Soil Type Information with AcreVision℠ from FBN

If you’re looking for soil type information before making a farmland purchase, FBN offers 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. 

The soil information used in AcreVision is obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and the National Cooperative Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO). This data provides insights into the soil's characteristics essential for crop growth and yield, including: 

  • Drainage

  • Nutrient-holding capacity

  • Texture

Try AcreVision for free today by clicking here.

Before You Buy: 4 Farmland Factor to Consider

If you’re planning to purchase agricultural land, you’ll want to be well informed on the various factors that can impact the quality of the property. After all, purchasing the right land parcel for your ag operation needs can help you:

  • Grow and harvest quality crops

  • Drive profitability

  • Optimize resale value

The free guide Before You Buy: 4 Farmland Factors to Consider will help you learn about the critical factors that can influence land value. Download your free guide from FBN Finance here

Related Resources

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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 25, 2024

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