Farmland REIT Gladstone Land Weathering California Drought

David Gladstone, chairman, president and CEO of Gladstone Land Corp. (NASDAQ: LAND), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

Gladstone Land is the country’s first-ever publicly traded company investing in U.S. farmland and the country’s first stock exchange-listed farmland REIT. Gladstone explained that the company operates with both shorter-term and longer-term leases. Shorter-term leases are generally used by farmers raising produce, corn and wheat.  Longer-term leases are favored by farmers planting fruit trees and bushes, he said.

Gladstone Land operates in five states, including California. Gladstone said California’s ongoing drought has not impacted the REIT since it does not buy farmland without wells or other water sources.

“From the drought standpoint, we’re not seeing any diminution of rents. They continue to go up,” Gladstone said.  He added that any time a farm becomes vacant, four or five potential tenants usually express interest in the property.

Meanwhile, Gladstone commented that declining values for Midwest farmland properties that are focused on corn and other grains could present a buying opportunity. However, he emphasized that Gladstone Land has a preference for using the land for produce and staple crops such as strawberries, a particular specialty of the company.