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Investing in rural, undeveloped land continues to be a popular strategy among the affluent, according to the 2013 Land Report 100, the latest annual survey and ranking of the largest private landowners in the United States just published by The Land Report and presented by Fay Ranches. Increasingly seen as a “safe deposit box with a view,” acreages continue to be purchased by leading landowners at solid rates. In 2012, the country’s top 100 landowners cumulatively increased their private holdings by 700,000 acres to a total of 33 million acres, nearly 2 percent of U.S. land mass.

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone and his 2.2 million acres under ownership topped the Land Report 100 list, which focuses exclusively on deeded acreage owned by individuals, families, family-owned companies and family-controlled foundations and excludes leased and public lands. Malone edged out Ted Turner, who currently possesses more than 2 million land acres. Rounding out the top five in order were: the Emmerson family, Brad Kelley and the Irving family.

The 2013 edition of the Land Report 100 presented by Fay Ranches can be downloaded here.

“It’s refreshing to continue seeing large landowners find value in aggregating their land for conservation and agriculture purposes versus parceling it out and developing it,” said land broker Greg Fay, founder of Fay Ranches, which is sponsoring The Land Report 100 for the third straight year and is a longtime supporter of the magazine. “Everyone at Fay Ranches congratulates leading landowners for their commitments to the land, to conserving our wild places and preserving our agricultural heritage.”

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