Research

In-House Research Leads to Investment Success

Research plays a crucial role in all phases of our investment process from acquisitions to property management to dispositions. Our research publications are used to educate potential investors, while keeping our current clients informed of topics relevant to their portfolio.

All of our in-house research publications are accessible to the public.

Farmland Investor Archive

2014 Fall/Winter: Stewards of Capital, Stewards of Land

HAIG has a long history of providing clients with best-in-class farmland investment management. Our clients’ farmland investments provide exceptional returns to meet the current and future financial obligations of their beneficiaries. However, this is not HAIG’s only contribution. As one of the largest institutional farmland investment managers in the United States, HAIG also plays a major role in improving the environmental conditions of the farmland assets we manage and positively influencing the communities in which we operate. One prime example of HAIG’s positive impact is the transformation of Siskiyou Red Rock.

Farmland Investor Archive

2014 Spring: HAIG and FMS Join Forces to Offer Full Service Instutional Farmland Investment Management

HAIG is pleased to announce the acquisition of its long-time property management partner, Farmland Management Services (FMS). The transaction, completed in March, formalizes a relationship of more than 25 years, bringing together farm-level operational expertise and institutional investment management in a single organization. FMS, based in Turlock, California, will continue to provide best-in-class farm management for more than 280,000 acres of HAIG client properties throughout the U.S. In addition, through the enhanced alignment of the groups, the combined team will further develop robust acquisition, risk management and stewardship programs.

Farmland Investor Archive

2015 Q4, Hancock Farmland Investor: 2015 Farmland Investment Performance

Hancock Agricultural Investment Group, (HAIG), is pleased to introduce its first Hancock Farmland Investor newsletter. The Hancock Farmland Investor, published on a quarterly basis, includes a series of key indicators related to agriculture product production, prices and trade, along with farmland income and returns. Tracking these indicators is essential to being an informed farmland investor. Each Hancock Farmland Investor newsletter will include a summary of one of our research projects of interest to farmland investors. Our initial newsletter looks at 2015 NCREIF Farmland Property Index returns.

Farmland Investor Archive

2015 Spring/Summer: Despite a Difficult Year for Agriculture, HAIG Farmland Investments Provided Steady Returns

From drought to drones and seed traits to port strikes, 2014 marked a year of challenge and change for agricultural markets. Commodity prices continued to soften with the S&P GSCI Agricultural Enhanced Select Total Return Index–which measures the total return from corn, soybeans, sugar and wheat–down 8.4%. However, amid agriculture’s ever evolving landscape, institutional farmland investments continued to provide steady returns for their beneficiaries. In 2014, HAIG’s Global Farmland Composite, representing $2.2 billion in assets under management across three countries and more than 20 commodities, produced 6.2% income and 4.9% appreciation for a total return of 11.4%, after fees.

Farmland Investor Archive

2013 Spring: Strong Farm Income Continues in 2012

Despite widespread drought throughout the Midwest and Plains states, U.S. net farm income reached $112.8 billion in 2012. 2012 marked farmers’ second most profitable year on record after earning $117.9 billion in 2011, and was 40.3 percent higher than 2010 net farm income, also a record at the time. Strong demand from top U.S. trade partners Canada, China and Mexico coupled with short crops worldwide drove prices across corn, soybeans and wheat. Agricultural exports totaled $141.3 billion dollars at year-end 2012, up 35.9 percent from the previous year. Reflecting continued high incomes and low interest rates, farmland again saw capital values rise in 2012. Driven by both strong income and appreciation, the performance of the Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG) improved relative to 2011.

Farmland Investor Archive

2013 Fall: The Rise of Farmland as an Institutional Asset Class

Most institutional investors have yet to add farmland to their portfolios. Perhaps their hesitation is attributable to a cursory understanding of the benefits of investing in farmland. In this newsletter, we analyze the returns of stocks, bonds, and farmland during various periods between 1960 and 2012 and examine the historical performance of the farmland asset class in different inflationary environments. We also introduce Danielle Harris, Investment Analyst, and Addison Taylor, Southern Region Acquisitions Manager, and congratulate members of our team on recent promotions.

Farmland Investor Archive

2012 Spring: Strong Income Drives Farmland Performance in 2011

Record demand for U.S. farm products drove net farm income to nearly $100 billion and agricultural exports to $137 billion in 2011. Exports to China, the largest foreign purchaser of U.S. farm products, grew 30 percent. The value of U.S. corn and soybean exports grew 42% and 20%, respectively. Farmers are using the additional income to pay off debt: in 2011, the debt-to-equity ratio of the farm sector fell to 11.6%, the lowest level since the USDA began tracking the statistic in 1960. Farmland prices, particularly in the Corn Belt and Delta regions, continued to appreciate in 2011. Driven by strong income and appreciation, the performance of the Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG) farmland portfolio improved relative to 2010. Both income and appreciation returns rose year-on-year for row crop and permanent crop investments. This newsletter evaluates HAIG’s 2011 performance and highlights the strong income-producing ability of farmland investments. The newsletter also discusses our expectations for farmland performance in the context of the global macroeconomic environment.

Farmland Investor Archive

2012 Fall: Drought and Farmland Investments in the US

As has been widely reported, severe or greater drought affected nearly 70 percent of the contiguous United States in 2012. However, ample confusion exists regarding the terminology used to describe drought conditions. Moreover, this confusion creates uncertainty about how these conditions affect agricultural investments. The purpose of this newsletter is to inform institutional investors of potential indicators of drought conditions, identify drought classifications, and establish the potential affects that drought has on the performance of agricultural investments in the U.S. We also introduce Paul Joerger, Director of Asset Management, and congratulate members of our team on recent promotions.

Farmland Investor Archive

2011 Spring: Strong U.S. Farmland Performance Reflected in HAIG 2010 Returns

Strong international demand for U.S. agricultural exports and surging commodity prices fueled record cash receipts and significant gains in farm income in 2010. Exports totaled $115.8 billion, led by gains in bulk soybeans and cotton. Farm balance sheets also improved in 2010, underlining the strength of the overall U.S. agricultural economy. Current farm income supports land values and the U.S. farm sector debt-to-income ratio is down to 2.9 from 4.0 in 2009, while debt-to-equity remains at 12.8%, well below the 40-year average of 18.4%. In this environment, Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG) farmland performance improved relative to the prior year, with permanent cropland income performance, particularly that of pistachios and walnuts, benefiting most from increases in global demand. This newsletter analyzes the factors driving overall performance of the HAIG farmland portfolio and compares HAIG farmland performance to that of other asset classes and the NCREIF Farmland Index over time.

Farmland Investor Archive

2011 Fall: Is There A Farmland Bubble?

With U.S.farmland values up an average of 6.4% per year over the past decade and some regions of the country experiencing even more dramatic appreciation, analysts and investors have raised valid questions about the sustainability of land prices and whether a farmland “bubble”currently exists.Could surging demand for farmland investments be driving the asset class to repeat the experience of the residential real estate bubble, which peaked in 2007 and whose subsequent bursting figured prominently in the financial crisis of 2008? How similar is the recent run-up in farmland values to that which occurred in the 1970’s and ultimately led to the 1980’s farm crisis? This article explores the fundamental drivers of farmland values and investment performance, assesses the economic health of the U.S.agricultural sector, and discusses the potential existence of a “bubble” in U.S.farmland markets.

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