Historical Farmland Returns

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please see additional disclosures.


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.


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).

Farmland Returns & Volatility vs. Other Major Asset Classes(1)

Cumulative Returns (12/31/1990=100)

Annual Growth: 11.0%
Volatility: 6.7%
Annual Growth: 6.4%
Volatility: 8.8%
U.S. Govt. Bonds
Annual Growth: 2.0%
Volatility: 2.6%
Annual Growth: 4.5%
Volatility: 6.3%
AAA Bonds
Annual Growth: 17.1%
Volatility: 12.0%
Annual Growth: 8.0%
Volatility: 8.0%
Commercial Real Estate
Annual Growth: 14.7%
Volatility: 6.5%
Annual Growth: 18.2%
Volatility: 13.0%
Annual Growth: 9.0%
Volatility: 9.3%


(1) Supplemental information. Please see additional disclosures for further information. Source: NCREIF, Bloomberg, Bankrate, NYU Stern School of Business, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and AcreTrader calculations. All returns are estimates and assume reinvestment of dividends. Updated data published on 12/20/2021 and is for the period 12/31/1990 - 12/31/2020. Prior to this update, the data reflected the period 12/31/1990 - 12/31/2018.

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…

Explore our Farmland Listings

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

Conservative Investing

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


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