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Farmland in demand

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  • Farmland in demand

    Farmland, the 'fixed asset' that refuses to quit...

    Is it a bubble? Dunno, but if the dollar fails, nomially farmland will certainly do much better than cash.,full.story

    Farmland in demand

    Investors snap up California acreage, pushing prices to record highs, as global appetites for almonds and pistachios increase.

    By Catherine GreenDecember 26, 2012, 3:16 a.m.

    In the last year, Prudential Financial Inc. has plowed money into lemons and avocados in Ventura County, almonds and mandarins in the Central Valley and strawberries in Santa Cruz County.
    The insurance giant is just one of many players, including highly specialized investors and large pension funds, that have snapped up California farmland recently.
    The buying spree has helped push farm and ranch land values to record highs, raising questions about how long the boom might last and what effect it might have on the state's important agricultural sector.
    A new class of investors is piling into the sector, said Frank Plessmann of Agriworld Fund Inc., a hedge fund based in Greenville, Miss.
    When he started putting together a plan to raise capital to finance farmland purchases a decade ago, he said, "there was no one to speak with about it, but now there are all these agricultural investment groups."
    The average cost of an acre of farm real estate in California rose to $7,200 this year, roughly $300 above last year's record, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.