Historical Farmland Returns

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The information on this page and within this site should not be seen as an offer to buy or sell securities. Please see additional disclaimers here.

Land is one of the oldest investment classes in existence, producing enormous wealth over generations. We think United States farmland represents an attractive, long-term investment while providing significant relative capital preservation during times of economic turmoil.


As the chart below shows, 

invested in farmland in 1990 would be worth over $0 today(1).

"Cumulative Returns of Major Asset Classes, Indexed to 1990"(1)
  • Farmland
  • S&P 500
  • CDs
  • AAA Bonds
  • Gold
  • REITs
  • Timberland
  • Commercial Real estate

With a growing global population and shrinking U.S. farmland acreage, the laws of supply and demand are clearly in favor of farmland investing. As a result, farmland has consistently beat other asset classes over time.

Perhaps more impressive is the consistency of farmland returns over time. While the value of gold or stock markets can go down over 40% or 50% in a single year, farmland returns have been positive every year since 1990 (the first year of the index).

"Investment Returns vs. Volatility (Std. Deviation)"(1)

Compound Annual Growth Rate


(1) data according to Bloomberg, NCREIF and AcreTrader calculations

While farmland investment returns can certainly be negative, we think the historical data shows the exceptional resilience of this asset class. Why has this not been all over financial news every year? Because directly investing in farmland was historically difficult and unattainable for most investors. Until now…

More Reasons to Invest in Farmland

Portfolio Diversification

  • Farmland is mostly non-correlated to other investment assets
  • Opportunity to get away from the mainstream financial system

Inflation Hedge

  • Large federal deficit and money printing create potential for significant inflation
  • Real asset that produces a commodity (food). Over time, inflation = higher crop income
  • “Like gold with yield”

Conservative Investing

  • Low historical volatility suggests relatively limited downside in bad years
  • Farmland has helped investors maintain wealth through periods of economic turmoil

AcreTrader Whitepaper

To better understand farmland as an asset class and its historical performance, please download our free whitepaper.

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