Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Agricultural land in Nebraska is a significant asset of wealth and a key economic input into the state’s economy. It is no mere coincidence that Nebraska consistently ranks fourth among the 50 states in total cash receipts from farm marketings while also ranking fourth in land acreage in farms and third in terms of irrigated acreage. Consequently, it is of considerable importance to identify and understand the basic patterns of land ownership and tenure that exist within the state.

Every 10 years the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a national land ownership survey of landlords as well as farm operators. The most recent survey was conducted in 1999 and provides the most current perspective of land ownership and land tenure characteristics for the 50 states and geographic regions of the country.

The 1999 USDA survey is the primary source of information for this NebGuide. It provides an overview and an interpretation of Nebraska’s land ownership and tenure patterns.