Saudi Arabia Is Buying Up American Farmland To Export Agricultural Products Back Home

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Just what we need, cornfield crucifixions.

Seriously though, this is very troubling. The Saudis are explicitly conserving their own resources at home, while exploiting land and water supplies here in America.

CNBC reports:

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries are scooping up farmland in drought-afflicted regions of the U.S. Southwest, and that has some people in California and Arizona seeing red.


Saudi Arabia grows alfalfa hay in both states for shipment back to its domestic dairy herds. In another real-life example of the world’s interconnected economy, the Saudis increasingly look to produce animal feed overseas in order to save water in their own territory, most of which is desert.


Privately held Fondomonte California on Sunday announced that it bought 1,790 acres of farmland in Blythe, California — an agricultural town along the Colorado River — for nearly $32 million. Two years ago, Fondomont’s parent company, Saudi food giant Almarai, purchased another 10,000 acres of farmland about 50 miles away in Vicksburg, Arizona, for around $48 million.


But not everyone likes the trend. The alfalfa exports are tantamount to “exporting water,” because in Saudi Arabia, “they have decided that it’s better to bring feed in rather than to empty their water reserves,” said Keith Murfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, a Tempe-based dairy cooperative whose members also buy alfalfa. “This will continue unless there’s regulations put on it.” 

Recall, this is precisely the type of investment Michael Burry of “Big Short” fame recently said he was involved in.

In a statement announcing the California farmland purchase, the Saudi company said the deal “forms part of Almarai’s continuous efforts to improve and secure its supply of the highest quality alfalfa hay from outside the (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to support its dairy business. It is also in line with the Saudi government direction toward conserving local resources.”

Crucially, the issue of land rights comes into play.

The area of the Arizona desert where the Saudis bought land is a region with little or no regulation on groundwater use. That's in contrast to most of the state, 85 percent of which has strict groundwater rules. Local development and groundwater pumping have contributed to the groundwater table falling since 2010 by more than 50 feet in parts of La Paz County.

Sure, conserve local, exploit American. Just brilliant.

"We're not getting oil for free, so why are we giving our water away for free?" asked La Paz County Board of Supervisors Chairman Holly Irwin.




Added Irwin, “We’re letting them come over here and use up our resources. It’s very frustrating for me, especially when I have residents telling me that their wells are going dry and they have to dig a lot deeper for water. It’s costly for them to drill new wells.” 


Local development and groundwater pumping have contributed to the groundwater table falling since 2010 by more than 50 feet in parts of La Paz County, 130 miles west of Phoenix. State documents show there are at least 23 water wells on the lands controlled by Alamarai’s subsidiary, Fondomonte Arizona. Each of the wells is capable of pumping more than 100,000 gallons daily.


“You can use as much water as you’d like, as long as it’s put to a beneficial use, and you’re not required to report your water use,” said Michelle Moreno, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which has scheduled a public meeting for Jan. 30 in La Paz County to hear concerns from residents.


More competition for land and fodder is likely to make things more expensive for dairy farmers in California and elsewhere.


“It will ultimately drive the price up for the West Coast dairy operations,” said Robert Chesler, vice president of the dairy group at FCStone, a Chicago-based commodity-risk management company. “This is where they are buying that hay. This is where they are buying the farmland for dairy farms as well as and where they are buying the dairy goods, because we are obviously exporting more out of the West Coast.

Just another example of the Saudis giving it good and hard to American public.

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Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:03 | 7059964 LowerSlowerDela...
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture

Good for them.

Mexico restricts foreign ownership.  Just look how incredible Mexico is doing.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:14 | 7060002 Beowulf55
Beowulf55's picture



We don't allow foreign ownership of Kansas grain producing land to suck up our water resources. 


We are doing a fine job ourselves of sucking the Ogallala Aquifer dry without their help.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:36 | 7060089 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

They simply insert a proxy US domiciled company in the middle to own the assets and lease them out from foreign owners or something equivalent.  It happens all the time.

About the Ogallala aquifer: absolutely true.  It's amazing how far the water table has dropped out there since the 1940s.  Most of that drop has happened since the 70s and the worst draw has been in the last 25 years. 

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 00:11 | 7060537 Beowulf55
Beowulf55's picture

Wrong....Kansas grain producing farm land can only be controlled by a corporation registered in Kansas.  All boardmember have to be Kansas citizens.


If it was possible to sell my grain producing farmland to a "foreign" corporation in Wyoming or Panama that does not provide a list of boardmembers or major stock holders I would have renounced my citizenship years ago and left.    Yes the corporation would have had to pay tax on revenue but I would not have to pay personal taxes on the "dividends."


If not true, prove it to me..............give me a name and number of your corporate lawyer.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 02:10 | 7060747 sprintjump
sprintjump's picture

Is this one reason why the left seems to go after Kansas so much?... they can't break the in-house nature and strength of the farm community?

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 07:58 | 7061013 Beowulf55
Beowulf55's picture

..that and we can carry concealed without permission from the state.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:30 | 7060069 Xatos
Xatos's picture

This seems to give more creedence to the theory revolving around the Hammond fiasco. The government wants the land to sell to foreign countries due to its value in resources.


Confirmation comes in 2's?

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 08:48 | 7061063 itstippy
itstippy's picture

The BLM land that the Bundys and Hammonds range cattle on isn't fit for raising crops or it would have been private 150 years ago.  The BLM ended up with the land that the Homesteaders didn't want because they'd starve to death trying to farm it.  The Saudis sure as Hell don't want it.  They want good land with available water and no water restrictions that they can grow alfalfa on.  That land is private.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 23:16 | 7065026 azusgm
azusgm's picture

A lot of that land around Burns, Oregon was private but the Feds have been buying up land and taking roads private, thereby cutting off ingress and egress for private owners. The govt has been engulfing privately held tracts and squeezing the owners until they sell.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 08:38 | 7061045 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

Same old story different oriental.  Remember back in the seventies when everyone thought the Japanese were going to buy the world?  Unless shipping picks up, they are going to have a hard time shipping the national harvest to China.  The Chinese are nothing more than a new wave of carpetbaggers.  They come in buy up everything then they take on the trappings of the old oligarchs.  Within a generation, the new oligarchs look pretty much like the old.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 18:04 | 7063691 unicorn
unicorn's picture

maybe you folks wanna watch some films about water or landgrabbing...:

but didnt find the film, i was actually lookin for: Nestle buying american water and selling it very very expensively bottled back to you.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:02 | 7059968 Flying Wombat
Flying Wombat's picture

Not exacxtly the sort of petrodollar recycling ole Henry Kissinger had in mind, eh?

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:05 | 7059979 22winmag
22winmag's picture

9-11 (1971)

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:29 | 7060065 ack
ack's picture

It's good those old evil vampire fucks are still around to see their plans fall apart.. 

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:38 | 7060100 Escrava Isaura
Escrava Isaura's picture



Bring dollars back into US economy instead exchanging for US gold was exactly Nixon/Kissinger goal.

As long as we don’t go Mobutu Sese Seko on them……….time will tell.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 22:00 | 7060185 Flying Wombat
Flying Wombat's picture

Kissinger's goal was for the vast majority - if not all, in his wild dreams - of petrodollar flows would be directed into financial assets (especially, U.S. Treasuries) and the suport of the U.S. arms industry.  

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:10 | 7059970 ZombieHuntclub
ZombieHuntclub's picture

Old news.

Since the U.S. government owns most everything west of the Mississippi, we can afford to sell some.Hell, sell them some of Utah. A-rabs gotta bunch of wives. Sons of Joseph Smith gotta bunch of wives. Like a match made in heaven  err Hell. 

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:04 | 7059977 22winmag
22winmag's picture

I want names and addresses of all involved.


Carpetbagging foreigners must be run out of town on a rail or the REPUBLIC SHALL FALL.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:10 | 7059991 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture



"I'm outraged!"



Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:28 | 7060051 boattrash
boattrash's picture

22winmag...Tonight's Powerball Winner!

Edit: You may have to split it with nmewn. (see below)

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:33 | 7060083 Pabloallen
Pabloallen's picture

It fell a long time ago ......

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:06 | 7059981 nmewn
nmewn's picture

One guy, on a hill, with a .308 can fix it.

I mean..."our laws" don't mean anything anymore...right?

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 22:33 | 7060273 NoPension
NoPension's picture

Not if Hillary is not indicted. You're right, sorta... the little people still get ramrodded by the " law".

ANYBODY else, other than Hillary, would be UNDER the jail, by now.

She must have something good on Petraus, for him to stay silent.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 22:55 | 7060354 azusgm
azusgm's picture

Petraus must have an addiction to breathing.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 22:57 | 7060361 NoPension
NoPension's picture

Hillary just said ; " no bank should be too big to fail, no individual too big to jail ".


Mon, 01/18/2016 - 08:57 | 7061070 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Mrs.N has actually gotten interested in all this crap I'm smoking ribs and I come in and she is watching it, I sit down...just in time to see them put up a...cartoon...on the the form of a question...about glowbull warming.

I look at her, she at me...she says..."Really? A cartoon? In whats supposed to be a serious presidential campaign debate?"

I say yeah, thats the level of intellect they think the people have who are watching we both bust out laughing. In between guffaws and trying to catch our breath she's pointing at the screen...there's a guy in a canoe (rising sea levels dontcha know) paddling past a car, parked in a foot & a half of water and she says "Why doesn't he just walk, why does he need a canoe?"

I swear, wonderful

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 10:56 | 7061325 azusgm
azusgm's picture

Thanks for watching. I couldn't stand to.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 10:57 | 7061336 techpriest
techpriest's picture

What's sad, of course, is that I have a few family members who really are that dumb. What's scarier is that they believe themselves to be intellectuals.

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 12:42 | 7061779 boattrash
boattrash's picture

Wifey and I got out the puke buckets and watched the debate too.

I was impressed with their views on the protection of the Constitution Re; Privacy Laws.

Note: That was 30-45 minutes after the vowed to shred our 2A Gun Rights!

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:06 | 7059982 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

We’re letting them come over here and use up our resources. 


mmmkay,  who's we?

someone shoot the sheriff?

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:27 | 7060058 cheeseheader
cheeseheader's picture

Err, am I missing something here, or can a landowner NOT sell out to a foreign interest?  Can neighbors pressure you to not sell to a foreign entity?


Or rather, does one of the 535 Club Members own the land which the Saudis are buying....??? Could be something only a U.S. politician could dream about.


Rope and lamp post please.



Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:37 | 7060075 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

No, no limits there, at least of real meaning.  How do you think CONagra, Cargill, and others stay in business.  There are entire companies based upon leasing huge blocks of land from equity funds and farming them.  Monsanto and the others mentioned prior could not run a business with only small family farms. They need to own the farms directly or indirectly through a patsy proxy.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:07 | 7059984 Ms No
Ms No's picture

I am okay with the use of glyphosate and GMO for those particular crops.  That is all.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:28 | 7060057 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

Just as long as they keep that crap at least 50 miles away from me and my plants, bees, etc.  I'd say, just ship the old oil tankers back full of water and Monsanto GMO seed and let them have at it.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:54 | 7060160 azusgm
azusgm's picture

It would be smarter to just buy the beef.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:50 | 7060146 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

The Saudi's are already doing it in your neck of the woods...

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 00:01 | 7060522 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Seems to me that those Alfalfa fields need some crop dusting with the Right Stuff.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:08 | 7059989 ToSoft4Truth
ToSoft4Truth's picture

Those Saudi-American farms represent Mexican jobs American's do not want. 

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:12 | 7059996 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:46 | 7060128 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

Great catch

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:24 | 7059990 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

Saudi deserves nothing.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:25 | 7060053 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

I'd say they deserve a grass-roots revolution. 

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:31 | 7060074 boattrash
boattrash's picture

Where's McMolotov? He might know how to beat this...

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:14 | 7060001 anonymike
anonymike's picture

So, the USSA buying oil (foreign resources) with counterfeit money is okay. But, that same counterfeit being used to then buy land in the USSA is somehow wrong. I certainly don't like the mass murdering Saudi's. But the even more evil USSA empire has no just basis to complain about the ultimate completion of the transaction.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:15 | 7060006 Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes's picture

Saudi has very few resources..  Shipping farm goods half way around the world is no better then

towing icebergs to Saudi Arabia.



Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:28 | 7060061 Dragon HAwk
Dragon HAwk's picture

Until you are very thirsty, then it starts to make sense

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:26 | 7060008 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

Remember the UN oil for food deal?

J P Morgan led the banks on that one

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:33 | 7060084 boattrash
boattrash's picture

I'll call South Hell and get J P Morgan's opinion on this.

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:17 | 7060014 juggalo1
juggalo1's picture

Nothing wrong with this.  All we need is some regulation on groundwater usage.  Libertards are supposed to support that since property-rights recognition is about the only legitimate function of government, amirite?

Sun, 01/17/2016 - 21:18 | 7060019 10mm
10mm's picture

Sonny said in the the Gdfather.You fight for your family,not your country.

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