What's the ticker symbol for farmland?

Nicholas Paulson, Bruce J. Sherrick, Mindy L. Mallory, Timothy Hopper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relatively high recent returns to farmland investments have led to substantially elevated interest in farmland investments. Absent, however, is a well-functioning equity market in farmland real estate, or well-developed indexes of farmland returns that might contribute to the development of tradable shares tied to farmland returns, or to methods to hedge the value of owned agricultural assets. The purpose of this study is to empirically present relevant measures related to farmland returns and other financial assets to provide a broad context for evaluation of farmland investments in a portfolio context. Issues related to the development of a farmland fund and index construction are discussed along with major risk and transactional factors that are somewhat unique to the asset class. Returns data from a broad set of financial categories and broad set of agricultural returns measures are developed and presented in multiple frameworks to convey temporal persistence, relatedness, and portfolio considerations related to farmland. Issues related to the construction of claims based on agricultural assets are discussed. Agricultural real estate investments have performed well compared to most other financial assets on most traditional measures of risk adjusted performance. However, the difficulties in direct investment remain and the need to develop securitized conduit exposures to farmland returns is identified. The study presents a unique set of farmland returns measures and examines the stability of the statistics used to describe these through time. Novel characterizations of the data compared to traditional assets helps investors and asset owners accurately understand the exposure to farmland returns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-31
Number of pages26
JournalAgricultural Finance Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 3 2013


  • Correlation
  • Farmland
  • Farms
  • Investment performance
  • Investments
  • Portfolio
  • Portfolio investment
  • Returns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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