Get the Dirt on Ohio Farms for Sale: How Soil Factors In
Any commercial real estate purchase is tough to make, but this especially rings true when deciding to buy Ohio farms for sale – requiring the buyer to decide after weighing many pros and cons. Farmland is valuable, so if you make the right decision, you may have gotten yourself a quality investment. But if you don’t consider all advantages and disadvantages, you may have bought yourself a headache.
Deciding to research and then buy Ohio farms for sale is undoubtedly challenging. The complex factors involved, particularly regarding soil, can make your decision harder. Find out which factors you should pay attention to, below.
What is Soil Made Of?
Since you’re looking to buy farmland for sale, you must gain a better understanding of soil. For starters, what is the definition of soil? Soil is a naturally occurring mixture of unconsolidated organic or mineral materials that loosely cover the surface of most land. The area that soil occupies provides a setting for land-based plants to grow and serves as their source of water and nutrients. Many living organisms are also in the soil.
Soils greatly vary in their physical and chemical properties. The three mineral particle types that make up the soil are sand, silt, and clay. “Loam” is a soil classification comprising roughly equal parts of sand, silt, and clay. Before considering any Ohio farms for sale, ensure you know what type of soil is on the property.
Soil also serves many other purposes, including regulating water, filtering pollutants, and cycling nutrients. Quality soils help boost farmland productivity, such as cropland and rangeland.
What is Soil Texture?
Soil texture describes the proportion of soil particles (sand, silt, and clay) as well as the coarseness or fineness of the soil. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lists 12 main soil texture classifications:
- Sandy loam
- Loamy sand
- Silt loam
- Sandy clay loam
- Sandy clay
- Clay loam
- Silty clay loam
- Silty clay
Soil textures #4-12 consist of varying amounts of a combination of sand, silt, and/or clay.
Ohio’s Soil Regions: Where Should I Buy Ohio Farms for Sale?
Region 1: Hoytville, Nappanee, Paulding, and Toledo (Northwest Ohio)
Textures of the soils in this region range from fine (clay) to coarse (sand), and often have poor drainage. This region has nearly level crop fields. You may be able to find dairy farms for sale in Ohio, here.
Region 2: Conotton, Conneaut, and Allis (Northeast Ohio)
Textures of the soils in this region also range from fine (clay) to coarse (sand), but typically have a higher acidity than regions in Northwestern Ohio. You may be able to find fruit farms for sale in Ohio, here.
Region 3: Blount, Pewamo, and Glynwood (Northwest Ohio)
The soils in this region contain a substantial amount of limestone and clay. The soil texture ranges from fine (clay) to medium (silt). You may find feed grains and livestock farms for sale in Ohio, here.
Region 4: Miamian, Kokomo, and Eldean (Southwest Ohio)
The soil in this region is medium textured (silt), with a more significant amount of silt in the southern part. The glacial deposits are more coarse than regions 3 and 5 but well-drained. You may find feed grains and livestock farms for sale in Ohio, here.
Region 5: Bennington, Cardinton, and Centerburg (Central Ohio)
Region 6: Mahoning, Canfield, Rittman, and Chili (Northeast Ohio)
The soil in regions 5 and 6 is primarily medium textured (silt), but some areas are fine (clay). In Region 5, you may find feed grains and livestock farms for sale. Region 6 has soils that drain better, especially in the southern part of the region. You may find dairy farms for sale in Ohio, in Region 6; however, many areas are now urban or wooded.
Region 7: Clermont, Rossmoyne, Avonburg, and Cincinnati (Southwest Ohio)
As one of the oldest glaciated areas in Ohio, the soil in this region is greatly weathered and deep. Most of the topography is flat with poor drainage. The soils in this region developed in older glacial deposits; therefore, they have more weathering and are typically less fertile for the production of crops. You may not find profitable Ohio farms for sale here.
Region 8: Westmoreland, Homewood, and Loudonville (Central and Eastern Ohio)
This region is also one of the oldest glaciated areas in Ohio. Most of the topography is flat with poor drainage, and the soil here is also deep and has extensive weathering. You may find dairy farms for sale in Ohio, in Region 8; however, as with Region 6, many areas are now urban or wooded.
Region 9: Eden, Bratton, Brushcreek (Southwest Ohio)
The soils in this region were developed on sloping to steep topography in areas containing unglaciated limestone and shale bedrock. These soils are heavily wooded and include many scenic areas. You may find worthwhile Ohio farms for sale, here.
Regions 10-12 Foothills of the Appalachian Plateau (South & Southeast Ohio)
Region 10: Shelocta, Brownsville, Rittman, Chili
Region 11: Coshocton, Westmoreland, Berks
Region 12: Gilpin, Upshur, Lowell, Guernsey
These regions contain the residual soils of Ohio that were developed from weathered particles of sandstone, shale, and limestone. The topography ranges from almost level to greatly steep. These soils in Regions 10-12 are heavily wooded and include many scenic areas. As with Region 9, you may also find profitable Ohio farms for sale, here.
Soil Quality of Ohio Farmland for Sale
If you’re researching farms for sale in Ohio, you likely already know the importance of soil types. There is nothing more critical for the integrity of the farmland than the soil. As such, you will want the results of the most recent soil tests; the results will inform you of the nutrients present in the soil and the ones that are missing.
Environmental Concerns and Amount of Soil with Nutrients
You don’t want to spend a great deal of money only to discover many environmental problems plaguing the property; however, you’ll need to see how much of the farmland is tillable versus the amount that is not. If some of the farmland needs nutrients added to be tillable, or if part of the land needs some work before it can be tillable again (known as reclaiming), you might be spending more in the long run than initially budgeted.
Know What You’re Paying For When You Buy an Ohio Farm for Sale
This may sound like a no-brainer, but having every detail of what you’re getting in writing is something you can’t rush through or overlook. The four key types of soil you should look out for when planning to purchase Ohio farms for sale are as follows:
- Loam is almost an equal mixture of sand, silt, and clay. Farmers like loam the best because it holds water and nutrients well. Loam also allows for sufficient drainage and aeration. When searching Ohio farms for sale, perhaps start with areas that contain loam.
- Silt promotes excellent soil structure and contains minerals that provide essential nutrients. Silt is more fertile than clay and sand, and holds moisture well. Therefore, agricultural practices often use silt to help boost soil fertility.
- Clay is not ideal for farmers as it often retains too much water.
- Sand doesn’t make for good farm land because it retains no water.
Many top crops are grown on Ohio farmland made from clay loam; this is a perfect mixture of essential nutrients that allows water to pass through.
Knowing what you’re paying for doesn’t stop at what’s on the property but concerns the farmland’s foundation. Making sure the quality of the farmland you’re purchasing is above par will probably be your best decision.
Consult with a Land Broker Before Buying Ohio Farms for Sale
For 85 years, The Robert Weiler Company has been at the forefront of Ohio real estate investments and development. Based in Columbus, the expert team at The Robert Weiler Company knows all the intricacies involved in buying Ohio farms for sale. Speak with one of our land brokers today: 614-221-4286