Farmers Home Administration:

Sales of Farm Inventory Properties

RCED-91-98: Published: Apr 9, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Farmers Home Administration's (FmHA) farm inventory property sales, focusing on the: (1) prices at which FmHA sold properties or offered them for sale; (2) extent to which beginning farmers acquired those properties and whether such properties were appropriate; and (3) effect of conservation easements on the agricultural uses of the properties.

GAO found that: (1) the market and capitalization values for 62 of 72 judgmentally selected farm properties FmHA sold or had in its inventory between January 1989 and May 1990 varied on average by less than 5 percent, while 10 properties had much higher market values since the capitalization values were zero or negative; (2) only 5 of the 37 properties FmHA sold were purchased by beginning farmers and only 17 of the 72 properties were appropriate for beginning farmers; and (3) 40 percent of the properties had conservation easements that restricted the use of about 30 percent of the combined properties' acreage.

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