Business: The Foreign Land-Grab Scare

Xenophobic overreaction to a bit of buying in the farm belt

Few subjects scare and anger American farmers more than reports that carpetbagging foreigners are swallowing up U.S. agricultural land from Georgia to California. To hear many farmers and farm-belt politicians tell it, at least half the population of Europe and maybe a few million Arabs and Japanese are storming ashore, moneybags in hand, to buy every spare square inch of topsoil.

Certainly some foreign purchases have occurred, and ads offering U.S. farm land dance across European newspapers and magazines. Still, aliens are neither...

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