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National Young Farmers Coalition
Finding Farmland Calculator

Use this calculator to build scenarios for purchasing farmland.
You can compare detailed estimates of total costs, monthly
payments and affordability metrics, then download the results
to have on hand when meeting with a loan officer.

Enter the price of a property you are considering below to start.

Property price
$
Create scenario

What is an FSA loan?

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which oversees farming and forestry issues in the US. The FSA offers many types of loans intended to help beginning, minority, and woman farmers, and farmers who are otherwise unable to secure a bank loan at a reasonable rate.

The FSA loan interest rates vary, but are generally lower than commercial interest rates. FSA loans can be used to help finance your farm or ranch, capital investments, conservation projects, and closing costs.

Further reading

NYFC’s FSA Loans Guidebook or the FSA website

How can I lease-to-own
my property?

A lease-to-own scenario can be a good option if you want to
own the property in the future, but don't have the appropriate financing now.

You can construct a lease-to-own scenario by entering a lease, then adding the down payment and/or loan(s) that will begin once the lease ends.

How can I refinance my loan?

Refinancing is replacing an existing loan (either an FSA loan
or a bank loan) with a new bank loan, often with a different interest rate.

In order to build this scenario, select the refinancing option
in the loan in question, enter the year in which you want to refinance, and input the rate and amortization of the new loan. The Calculator only permits one refinancing per loan although technically more are possible. For more information,
consult a loan officer.

How do conservation
easements work?

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. (Land Trust Alliance)

Selling a conservation easement on land with development
value can drastically reduce the cost of purchasing farmland, either at the time of purchase or afterward.

Further reading

Finding Farmland: A Farmer’s Guide to Working with Land Trusts

Equity vs. Debt

This chart compares your equity in this property to your debt
from purchasing it. Notice how you earn equity and shed debt
quicker in later years: that’s because the proportion of your
loan payment that goes to principal, as opposed to interest,
gets larger as you pay back most loans.

As your debt-to-equity ratio decreases with every passing year,
you will qualify for more financing at better rates — allowing
you to grow your business even further, if you choose to.

Building equity in farmland also provides collateral if you need
to access financing to grow your business. Or you can think of
your growing land equity as retirement savings: something you
can sell, rent, or pass on to your family at the end of your career.

Average agricultural land
value by region
Data from the USDA National
Agricultural Statistics Service

While your loan payments will steadily decrease your debt
over time, the equity you build will actually fluctuate with
land values. These charts show the value of agricultural land
in different regions over time to help you get a sense of how
your equity might go up (or down).

Why is it important
to earn equity?

In real estate terms, equity is the value you own in your property. You can think of building farmland equity as retirement savings: growing value in something you can sell, rent, or pass on to your family in the twilight of your career.

Equity also serves as collateral if you need to access better financing rates to grow your business. In the low-profit and unpredictable agriculture industry, building equity in farmland could be the difference between long-term failure and success.

Note how your debt-to-equity ratio decreases faster in later years as a greater proportion of your loan payment goes toward the principal, as opposed to interest.

Hey there! The Affordability Calculator works best on a larger screen. Check it out on your desktop or laptop!
More land access guidance from NYFC