Summary Review-Global Ag Investing Conference

Tradeshow RecapAgriculture and Ag-Tech

Summary Review-Global Ag Investing Conference

May 2, 2022 5 min read

At a Glance


    The 14th Annual Global Ag Investing Conference was held in New York in April 2022

    • At the Global AgInvesting (GAI) Conference, presentations by institutional investors, private equity firms, asset managers, and ag economists provided attendees with a comprehensive overview of the key trends impacting agricultural investments
    • Although institutional ownership of U.S. farmland is still relatively small (less than 2% nationwide), aging farmer demographics, changing consumer preferences, and increased need for capital are driving an upsurge in institutional ownership at a rate 2.5x greater than market value growth(1)
    • As more capital is deployed in the ag sector, opportunities increase for closely held companies to consider an exit. However, not every ag asset is the right fit for every investor. Knowing the landscape of potential buyers and being prepared to negotiate on hot-button items are key to a successful outcome
    • This summary is a snapshot of notable quotes and key
      takeaways from the 2022 GAI Conference

    Top three topics discussed at GAI

    01: Rising Inflation

    02: De-globalization

    03: Farmland Investment Attributes

    1 Rising inflation

    Rising inflation, sparked by the Pandemic, was the number one topic at GAI

    1 Rising inflation (continued)

    Presenters noted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is adding pressure to global fuel and fertilizer supplies

    With Russia producing around 50 million tons of fertilizers a year, or 13% of the global total, further tensions are expected to increase costs by another 12% during 2022 (1)

    1) Deborah Perkins, Global Head of Food & Agribusiness, ING, Food for Thought – Macro Drivers Impacting Global Agriculture, GAI 2022

    2 Deglobalization

    The pandemic, coupled with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has resulted in increased prevalence of deglobalization, creating more demand for food supply-chain investments

    1) David Grey. Senior Vice President, Conservis, Looking Ahead and Back, GAI 2022

    2) Robert Hurlbut, Agriculture Capital, The End of Globalization, GAI 2022

    3) Deborah Perkins, Head of Global Food & Agribusiness, ING, Food for Thought – Macro Drivers Impacting Global Agriculture, GAI 2022

    2 Impact of deglobalization on global food supply

    Continued deglobalization has exacerbated supply shortages and food inflation

    3 Farmland as a hedge against inflation

    Despite the headlines, investments in farmland and related ag businesses continued to be highly sought after by institutional investors seeking a hedge against inflation

    3 Equity-like returns with bond-like stability

    GAI members recognize that average returns on farmland investments have historically been higher than S&P with less volatility

    3 Farming supports ESG mandates

    Demand for sustainability assurance in both the consumer and capital markets has never been greater and is only accelerating

    1) Wood Turner, Senior Vice President, Agriculture Capital, Reimaging Orchards as Fruit Forests: A Climate Solution, GAI 2022

    Final Thoughts

    “If this area is shut down and turned into a dust bowl, and the infrastructure goes away, and the talent goes away, at the point in time when we are going to need it the most – the next pandemic, the next major war – turning that back on is not like turning an oil well on. It will take a decade of getting the right people, the right infrastructure in place so we can produce our food here.

    We don’t have the luxury of trial and error. We need to get it right now.”

    – Bill Harrison, Managing Partner, Harrison Co.
    Excerpt from American Grown: My Job Depends on Ag

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