It’s also worth noting that Kunce’s recurring implication that China is driving the buying up of small farms is entirely untrue. Missouri, like a dozen other states, banned foreign-owned corporations from buying farmland in 1978 but lifted the cap from 0% to 1% in 2013, which is what allowed Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods to buy up the pork land in question. China-based corporations are not even a top four foreign owner of Missouri farmland, with Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, and Italy taking the top spots, according to a 2019 federal report. Estimates vary, but the most highly cited number of Chinese farmland ownership in Missouri is 40,000 acres out of 350,000 foreign owned acres, or about 11 percent of all foreign owned land and 0.01% of total Missouri farmland.
China is a very small player in “foreign ownership” of U.S. farmland in general, yet mysteriously, almost exclusively who Kunce talks about when discussing the issue. According to the conservative think tank CSIS, “Canadian investors hold the largest share of [U.S. farmland], at 29 percent, with the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom collectively owning another 33 percent. The remaining 38 percent is held by entities from almost a hundred other countries. Although Congress has become increasingly concerned about Chinese land purchases, investors from China currently own only a small fraction of this land, at 191,652 acres (0.05 percent of the total).” Another 2019 federal report puts the number at less than 0.02 percent, less than Cayman Islands.