Welcome to the Show Me State! Missouri is perhaps best known for the cities of St. Louis on the eastern side and Kansas City on the western side. But in between, the state is full of farms where hardworking, no-nonsense people are busy growing crops and raising livestock. This strong agricultural foundation contributes greatly to the economy of the state as a whole. If you’re thinking of buying agricultural land in Missouri, you may want to know a little bit more about the state. So let’s start by looking at some of the highlights and where Missouri stands out. We’ll look at Missouri’s economy, its agriculture, and some of its industry strengths.
The economy of Missouri is relatively strong and stable, earning it an AAA rating from all three rating agencies (1). One factor that contributes to Missouri’s economic strength is that the state has the 7th most diverse economy in the US (2), meaning that there is less heavy dependence on a small handful of vital industries (and less risk if those industries experience economic fluctuations). According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri also boasts “one of the lowest costs of living, a central location, and home to a highly-skilled and educated workforce.”(3) All these factors combine to create a state that is an attractive place to live and work and a stable place to invest and do businesses.
Agriculture in Missouri brings in strong numbers, with the market value of agricultural goods sold at $10.5 billion in 2017, split almost evenly between crops and livestock, with crops bringing in $5.47 billion (dominated by soybeans and corn) and livestock bringing in $5.04 billion (dominated by cattle, poultry, and hogs).(4) Missouri is blessed with fertile soils and more rainfall than its neighbors to the west, allowing farmers to produce more with less land. Its gently rolling terrain offers 15+ million acres of cropland, out of the total 27+ million acres of land in farms. According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the top three agricultural contributors of economic impact to the state are breweries ($2.9 billion), oilseed farming ($2.3 billion), and dog and cat food manufacturing ($2.3 billion)(5), so if you’re just getting started in agriculture in Missouri, these three areas would be a good starting place to determine the market demand for your crops.
A number of different industries contribute to Missouri’s economic strength. Manufacturing contributes the highest percentage to state GDP (6), and the fastest growing industries are health care and professional services (7). Missouri’s health care industry is bolstered by the prestigious Washington University, where there is a medical school and good medical research and care. Another contributor to Missouri’s economy is the largest beer plant in the country (the Anheuser-Busch plant in St. Louis). Other major industries in Missouri are aerospace, transportation (8), biosciences, financial services, and information technology (9).
Here's an inside glimpse into farming and ranching in Missouri:
"We learned that due to the high productivity of the land, warm summer temperatures, consistent high rainfall amounts, and length of growing season, it is rather easy to support crops and livestock on relatively small acreages. We've never found a place that is more supportive of the hobby farmer than Missouri. Farmers Markets abound throughout the summertime and fall. Properties of 100 to 200 or more acres will support a "gentleman's farm" or hunting resort in MO.
"As for the hobby rancher, some find that they can successfully pasture as much as 10 to 20 times more cattle to the acreage as compared to western or northern states. For that reason, Missouri ranks among the highest population of part-time farmers and ranchers of any state in the nation. Many Missouri residents find that they can develop additional income streams to supplement their full time pursuits through their part time farming/ranching efforts.
"For our part, we enjoyed raising our five healthy active kids in the wonderful environment that is the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and intend to visit our friends and family there frequently."—Rick Denief, Associate Broker for Missouri with American Land Brokers
If you are looking for agricultural land in Missouri, count on American Land Brokers for help finding the property that best suits your needs. Remember, if any of our current listings aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, we can help you find your perfect property. Just let us know what you are looking for and we will get to work for you!