A new bill introduced by Illinois Senate Republicans aims to prevent potentially hostile entities of the United States from buying up farmland for potentially nefarious purposes.
Senate Bill 2668 looks to address fears about the dangers of Illinois land being sold to individuals and organizations from hostile foreign powers. This would prohibit purchases of land from countries categorized as hostile by the federal government. This bill is designed to help maintain national security while reducing the inflation of farmland prices by foreign actors.
According to the Department of Agriculture, foreign-owned farmland grew by 8 percent in 2022. Twenty-four states have similar legislation prohibiting or restricting farmland purchases by certain foreign parties. This bill would include fines up to $15,000 and punishment of up to two years prison time for violations. This bill mandates that the Illinois Department of Agriculture creates an office of Agricultural Intelligence to monitor suspicious agricultural land purchases.