THE National Farmers' Federation wants a national register for all foreign investments in Australian farmland and water.
The NFF's call for transparency comes as the Chinese ambassador has warned the Australian Government not to restrict Chinese investment in agriculture land.
Chen Yuming said agriculture was the newest area of co-operation between the two countries and required more government support and encouragement, not tighter controls.
Mr Yuming said Australia's concerns about Chinese companies buying large numbers of local farms were unwarranted.
NFF president Jock Laurie said while he was not familiar with the ambassador's comments, he urged the Government to listen to views of the Australian community, including farmers.
Mr Laurie said the NFF held a special meeting last week on foreign investment.
He said they wanted to take a clear policy position to the Federal Government and Opposition now while both were drawing up their policies before the next federal election.
"Farmers want open and transparent reporting of what's going on with foreign investments," Mr Laurie said.
The NFF has called for a land register that makes it compulsory for all foreign investors who acquire agricultural land and water to report the sale within a prescribed period, including retrospective sales.
"We're also calling for an annual report of the register findings to be published, summarising any changes to the holdings of agricultural land held by foreign interests," Mr Laurie said.
"It will trigger an annual review of the policy settings around foreign investment, including the Foreign Investment Review Board reporting threshold for agricultural land purchases by commercial interests."
Mr Laurie said foreign investment had been positive for Australian agriculture, but the NFF was concerned about changes to motivations behind investment to ensure food security for other countries.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig last week told farmers at the VFF conference that without foreign investment, agriculture would struggle to compete in international markets.