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Voluntary realignment of farm land has 1,700 acres change hands

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GROOTEGAST - A voluntary land consolidation project in the western region of the Province of Groningen has seen over 1,700 acres change hands last year, involving fifty farmers. Both the central government and the province pay for some of the costs associated with the ownership changes. New interest in such consolidation was spurred by lower land prices, and the need for viable farms to further expand. The process - in Dutch called ruilverkaveling, literally ‘exchanging land parcels’ - allows farmers to trade parcels of land with the objective to get the land closer to their farmstead, and increase efficiency and competitiveness. On average, five farmers were involved with each consolidation, although in some instances there were twenty parties part of the trade.