Paul Pittman, CEO of Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI), joined Nareit for a video interview at REITworld 2017.
Farmland Partners acquires high-quality farmland and land with agricultural development potential located throughout North America.
Pittman emphasized that the company seeks a diverse crop portfolio. Initially, Farmland Partners focused on row crops located in the Midwest. Pittman noted that the company is gradually shifting toward specialty crops that offer “better yields and a more appropriate investment for our funds at this time.”
As for geographic regions of interest, Pittman pointed out that the farm economies of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are improving, resulting in higher yields per acre. Farmland Partners is making substantial investments into drainage and irrigation improvements that will further improve the yield and value of those farms, he said.
California’s Central Valley is another area where Farmland Partners is investing aggressively, according to Pittman. He described the multi-year drought in the region as the “ultimate stress test” that showed which properties have good access to water.
Looking to 2018, Pittman said he expects “we will have put the negative headwinds on the general farm economy largely behind us and we’ll be back in a growth environment.”