Jim Rothermich is a professional in the farmland appraisal space. He has a history in seed and agriculture and has been a licensed appraiser since 2009. In that time Jim has created a brand for himself as the “Land Talker”. If you haven’t followed him on LinkedIn or twitter yet I encourage you to do so.
Today we talk about farmland investment, a little about his journey into the profession, where values have been over the past few years, and last but not least we talk about why we believe a fella like Bill Gates would invest in farmland.
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The farmland market has been on quite the run the past few years. With increases in value close to 50% according to Jim. These values were driven by crop demand, low interest rates, and in some cases even ego. When compared to other real estate investments the return profile on farmland at first blush seems to be a bit on the low side. But time has been the great hero the past three decades with double digit returns in farmland investment being common. With such low volatility farmland was a haven for investors in particular in the past few years as we’ve seen equity markets (growth stock in particular) fluctuate spastically.
So who buys farmland? For a short period of time there seems to be an influx of outside investors. Is China buying a lot of farmland in Iowa? Doesn’t seem to be but we touch on that briefly. Is Bill Gates attempting to control our food source? With less than .03% of ownership of the productive farmland in the United States that seems unlikely.
Listen in as we discuss these topics and a few others around farmland values in Iowa. We will look forward to having Jim back on a regular basis to keep us up to speed on farmland values.