LEARN:  LAND

There are many means of obtaining land for farming and a variety of ways to finance these transactions. Listed below are some of the options available.

Finding farm land:

  • Through a real estate broker.

  • Through the various options available on the Internet (Kijiji, classified advertisements, etc.).

  • Through advertisements in the local newspapers and various trade journals (Farm Focus, Rural Delivery).

  • By contacting land owners directly.

  • By talking with the Department of Agriculture, Aquacultures, and Fisheries business growth.

  • By talking with lending institutions.

Some options for financing the acquisition or use of the land:

  • leasing or renting with or without an option to purchase;

  • sweat equity (working for a number of years for a percentage of ownership);

  • owner financing;

  • if hay is being harvested, a fixed price per bale could be the rental fee;

  • if using the land for pasture, a potential option is to pay an amount per animal per day using the land;

  • on lands no longer being farmed, offers could include no rent in exchange for:

    • caring for the land to include fencing, liming, composting, applying manure, fertilizers, intensive pasture management, reseeding, ditching maintenance, even drain tiling as needed;

    • depending on how much care of the land is offered, make sure the “renter” has a multi-year contract. The more services offered to the land owner, the longer the contract should be;

  • offering to pay for the taxes on the land. 

 

If you decide to buy land, especially undeveloped land, ensure there are no bylaws, regulations or other limitations that will restrict use of the land for agriculture.

 

It is also important to know if the land is registered under the Farm Land Identification Program (FLIP). If it is, it needs to be understood if the seller will be paying off the deferred taxes and associated interest, or if the purchaser will assume this liability. If the purchaser intends to continue farming, the deferred taxes and associated interest do not have to be paid, but they will still be a liability. This needs to be clear in a sales agreement. If it is, it needs to be understood if the seller will be paying off the deferred taxes and associated interest, or if the purchaser will assume this liability. If the purchaser intends to continue farming, the deferred taxes and associated interest do not have to be paid, but they will still be a liability. This needs to be clear in a sales agreement.
 

Important questions to ask your realtor or real estate agent:

  1. Do they have experience in selling agricultural land and farm operations?

  2. Do they understand the FLIP?

  3. Do they have the capacity to value the farm operation as business or just the land and buildings?

  4. Do they charge commission on just the land and buildings or do they also charge commission on the value of the business, licences or quota if involved in the sale?

Important questions to ask your lawyer:

  1. Do they understand FLIP in order to advise you about the options available to you?

  2. If you are planning on having livestock on the farm, do they understand the Livestock Operations Act so they can advise you on your rights and obligations in this matter?

Field staff at the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, and/or the soil specialist, may assist in the evaluation of land prior to your purchase to assess its suitability for your plans. It is very important that the quality of land matches the agricultural activity planned. Land can also be purchased by the Agricultural Development Board and leased to eligible farmers for six years, at which time it must be purchased. This can help in managing cash flow in the start-up years. 

 

Leasing Crown land is a possibility depending on location. About 50 per cent of New Brunswick land, which is mostly timber, is owned by the Crown. The Crown leases about 60,000 acres for agricultural activities, primarily maple syrup, blueberries, cranberries and community pastures: www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/10/agriculture.html.

 

A program was introduced in 2014 to lease Crown land for blueberry production. Details are at: www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/10/pdf/Agriculture/ CrownLandLeaseAllocationProcessWildBlueberries.pdf.

 

Interactive Maps

The Department has established new interactive maps to help prospective farmers begin to investigate areas and properties that may be favourable to certain crops. The map is intended as a guide for both prospective new entrants and existing farmers looking for insight into where to establish specific crops and where to pursue further research and investigation. Details are at: 

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/10/agriculture/content/agriculture-suitability.html

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