Report: Texas leads US in foreign-bought agricultural land

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas has led the nation over the last 10 years in foreign purchases of its agricultural land.

The Austin American-Statesman reports data obtained by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found foreign companies and individuals have bought 1.7 million acres of farm-, timber- and pastureland in Texas over the last decade, far more than in any other state. The foreign-owned land is worth about $3.3 billion.

The purchases mirror an increase in the foreign purchase of land across the country that has spurred calls to tighten regulations on foreign investment in the agricultural sector.

Wesley Sims, president of the Texas Farmers Union, says his group favors tighter rules for foreign purchases of agricultural land in Texas. Sims says foreign control over state resources affects food security and national security.