SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are two of the politicians concerned about foreign ownership of agriculture land.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a November 2021 Congressional Research Service, foreign investors own 35.2 million or 2.7%, of all privately owned agricultural land in the U.S. in 2019. The number of acres owned by foreign investors has grown by 2.5 million acres a year since 2015.

In a July 27 Twitter post, Johnson singled out Chinese investment.

“Chinese companies have been purchasing more and more U.S. farmland. Allowing this to continue could lead to serious food and national security concerns,” Johnson said on Twitter.

Grassley introduced the Farmland Security Act on July 27 that would require the USDA to report in real time any foreign investments in U.S. ag land made in the prior year. It would also require the USDA to report the impact of foreign ownership has on family farms, rural communities and the domestic food supply.

In South Dakota for foreign investment, Canadians own the most land, as of Dec. 31, 2020, according to the USDA. China is not listed as a separate country for investors.

According to the USDA, Canadians or Canadian investors own 123,850 acres of agricultural and non-agricultural land in the state. Investors from the United Kingdom own 63,017 acres. Investors from the Netherlands own 4,300 acres, investors from Italy own 2,116 acres and investors from Germany own 27,551 acres. Investors not from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Canada or the UK own 136,108 acres.

That amounts to less than 1% of all farmland in the state, according to the USDA.

The Dec. 31, 2020, data is the most recent available.

Foreign investors own 356,942 acres of agricultural land in South Dakota, according to the USDA.

There is not a federal law imposing limits on the amount of agricultural land that can be owned by foreign investors. Also, there is no single uniform approach under state law to addressing foreign ownership, according to the Congressional Research Service.

South Dakota has restrictions on foreign ownership of land that deal mainly with corporations but there are exceptions, according to S.D. Codified Laws §§ 43-2A-1 to 43‑2A-7 and S.D. Codified Laws §§ 47-9A-1 to 47‑9A-23

Minnesota, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Hawaii are states that have banned foreign ownership of land in their state, according to National Ag Law Center.

The USDA said 1.6% of Minnesota’s ag land is foreign-owned. That totaled 535,772 acres as of December 2020.

The percentage was the same in Iowa for 549,157 acres of ag land.

Here’s a breakdown of where the most common foreign investors own the most land by county in South Dakota. The USDA’s breakdown by county lists agricultural and non-agricultural land.

Canadian investors own 84,055 acres in Deuel County, according to the USDA. Netherlands investors own 1,803 acres in Codington County. Italian investors own 1,120 acres in Davison County. United Kingdom investors own 33,144 acres in Clark County. German investors owns 2,396 acres in Sanborn County.

The group classified as other investors owns 36,791 acres in Hyde County.

Deuel County has the most acres owned by foreign investors at 88,872, according to the USDA.

Chinese investment in agricultural land about 12 miles from the U.S. Air Force base in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has caused some state and national politicians to share concerns about foreign ownership and even how it relates to national security.