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.


August 2019, Hancock Farmland Investor: Taking Stock of Farmland Cash Yields: a Comparative Analysis

Institutional investors seek to diversify their multi-asset portfolios by acquiring real assets such as farmland, timberland and commercial real estate. Farmland’s strong cash yield is a significant benefit that could provide stability in today’s environment of market volatility.


Natural Resource Flash Report, August 2019: U.S.‑ China Trade Tensions Escalate

On August 6th 2019, China ordered its state-owned enterprises to suspend all agricultural imports from the U.S., in response to the recently announced 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese goods by the U.S starting in September. Private buyers in China have followed suit, citing uncertainties in the U.S.-China trade talks.


May 2019, Hancock Farmland Investor: Estimated U.S. 2019 Planted Acreage Declines 1.3% y-o-y, Led by Soybeans and Wheat

The March 2019 USDA Prospective Plantings Report predicts that soybean, wheat, cotton and rice acreage will contract this year, with some offset from increased corn acreage. The overall decline in row crop planted acres reflects reduced price expectations for major row crops such as corn, cotton, rice, soybeans and wheat, with soybeans experiencing the biggest acreage decline – 5% – in response to lower soybean prices.


April 2019, Natural Resource Flash Report: Canada and China Clash over Canola Trade

In March 2019, China rescinded the export licenses of the two largest Canadian canola companies, Richardson International and Viterra, to ship canola to China, citing non-compliance with plant health requirements. These two companies own four of the fourteen major canola crushing facilities in Canada. China also intensified its inspection measures and standards for canola seed imports from Canada, and intends to import far less product from Canada, according to Chinese Agriculture Ministry officials.


February 2019, NCREIF Farmland Returns Improve in 2018 After Bottoming Out in 2017

U.S. farmland properties returned 6.7 percent in 2018 (55 bps above 2017). This marked the first improvement in annual returns after four consecutive years of declines. Annual cropland properties returned 5.9 percent in 2018 (117 bps above 2017), and permanent crop properties returned 8.2 percent (9 bps above 2017). In 2018, institutional farmland investment (as reported by NCREIF) grew in terms of both the number of properties and value.


January 2019, Natural Resource Flash Report: Impact of Shutdown on Timberland and Farmland Timberland

We believe the extended federal government shutdown will be very limited in meaningful, direct impacts on the U.S. timber or forest products sectors. On the supply side, timber harvests on U.S. federal forests have not been a significant or consistent source of raw material to producers of lumber, wood panels or pulp since the early 1990s.


January 2019, Hancock Farmland Research Brief: Total Trade Mitigation Payments Announced Reach $9.6 billion: Implications for Agriculture and Farmland Investments

On December 17, 2018, President Trump announced the second round of financial aid to U.S. farmers most impacted by the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products imposed by major U.S. trading partners in 2018. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments will be distributed by the USDA Farm Service Agency in early 2019, with the USDA estimating that payments will total $4.8 billion for this round, on top of the $4.8 billion sent to farmers in fall 2018.


December 2018, Hancock Farmland Investor, The U.S. Farm Economy

The USDA Farm Income and Wealth Statistics report released 11/30/2018 projected a 12% decline in 2018 net farm income, partially reversing the gains realized in 2017. Rising costs and relatively flat cash receipts were the key factors driving the reversal in the direction of net farm income.


Hancock Farmland Research Brief: United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

On September 30, terms of a comprehensive trade agreement among the US, Mexico and Canada were finalized. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) culminates an extended year-long period of negotiations to update the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new agreement retains many of the core elements and structure of NAFTA, with the most prominent changes focused on: trade in cars, new policies on labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and some digital trade provisions. The most impactful changes for the farm sector in the new agreement were the expansion of US access to Canadian dairy and poultry markets, and an equalization in terms of trade for grains between Canada and the US. The agreement is targeted to be signed by the three participating countries before the end of November, possibly at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and all three countries would then still need to ratify the agreement. Congress will probably not address ratification until 2019, after the mid-term elections, and since the approval process will take time, most of the new USMCA provisions won’t go into effect until 2020.


September 2018, Hancock Farmland Investor: The Investable Farmland Universe: 172 Million Hectares, Valued at $1.5 Trillion

Understanding the overall size, structure and geographic distribution of global farmland suitable for institutional investors is necessary information for the evaluation of how various farmland investments fit in an overall portfolio of investments. The Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) conducted an inventory of global investable farmland, quantifying the value of regional investable farmland to be $1.5 trillion as of May 2018. For the U.S., the available data allowed a more granular analysis which broke out and quantified the area and value for row and permanent crops.

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