Survey Results: Biggest Competitor for Access to Farmland

Nate Bruce, Farm Business Management Specialist,


At the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center’s Field Crop Tour, a survey evaluating the biggest competitors to cropland access was handed out to participants. The survey also made a brief appearance in the Weekly Crop Update several weeks back. Results are listed below in the corresponding pie chart. The survey evaluated 27 total Delaware producer participants.


A pie chart labelled "What is your biggest competitor for access to farmland" with data: 52% Non-farmers purchasing land for non-farm uses such as development, 15% Conversion of farmland to solar famrs/other uses, 26% other competitive farmers, and 7% conservation acreage such as CRP.


Of the producers surveyed, 52% felt the biggest competitor to cropland access is land being purchased by non-farmers for non-farm uses such as cropland conversion into development. This may not be surprising to many, but it is certainly visible amongst producers in the farming community when farmland that was once in production becomes developed. The response with the second highest participant response was other competitive farmers bidding for limited land resources at 26% of respondents. This can certainly be seen amongst producers in the area where rent for watermelon land is at an all-time high in addition to the next generation of producers now competing with more established operations. The third highest response to farmland competition was conversion of farmland into other uses, such as solar farms at 15%. This has been a contentious issue amongst farmers in the state for some time, particularly in Kent County as of recently. Producers felt the lowest competitor to farmland access was loss to acreage due to conservation such as CRP programs at 7%.