Many Nevada Ranches have BLM range land leases for grazing livestock. For instance, you can own 1000 acres and have grazing access to 40,000 acres through these lease arrangements. There are a few important considerations when shopping the ranch land market and leases. Are the water rights owned, is the land contiguous to the leases?
Range land condition and shared occupancy matter also. Are there wild horses on the ranges? While wild horses are beautiful and an American heritage, they can be very hard on the range land and compete with livestock for the food and water resources on the range land.
Water and drought are coming to the forefront in terms of farm and ranch land purchase considerations. Cattle herds are being sold off today due to lack of water and feed in much of the United States. This will lead to a shrinking supply of beef at your grocery store and of course higher prices.
Alfalfa hay supply is in very tight demand with rising prices. Relative to world population arable farm land continues to shrink.
Today it is not just drought that worries farmers and ranchers, ground water aquifers have begun to come into question. Falling ground water tables and regulations coming out of Washington DC’s EPA are making some farm land useless. Investing in farm and ranch land continues to be a focus of some of Wall Street’s brightest investors.
Just as mineral rights are important to mining and oil companies, water rights are paramount to farmers and ranchers. However, if there are no minerals or water in the ground, rights matter not.
This area of real estate is specialized; it requires a special set of skills and market market knowledge. Issues like critical water shortages, range land quality, AUM regulation, basin allocation, water table stability, etc.
If you are interested in investing in farm or ranch land or you are considering a career in agriculture, you must be prepared. I will be happy to help you understand the important questions you need to be asking.