Get the latest in farmland investing and selling farmlandSubscribe
It’s been a busy September for AcreTrader’s Farm Team. We started the month offering a 436-acre corn and soybean property in Whiteside County, IL and followed it up with our first Idaho offering: a 524-acre farm in Gem and Owyhee Counties planted to alfalfa and potatoes.
Meanwhile, the permanent crop side of AcreTrader’s Farm Team made Ray Charles proud and had Georgia on their minds. Georgia, the nation’s leading pecan producing state, has been an attractive farmland investment target for us as we’ve sought to partner with more farmers in the southeastern United States. AcreTrader jumped at the opportunity to work with farmer Jesse Bentley on his latest pecan development project: the Brier Creek Pecan Orchard. Jesse, along with his father David, owns the Georgia Pecan Nursery, one of the largest pecan nurseries in the country.
AcreTrader first partnered with Jesse in December 2020 as he raised $4.6 million of investor capital on the AcreTrader Platform to help fund a 605-acre pecan development project in Burke County named the Keysville Pecan Orchard. Jesse and his team spent the winter, spring, and summer of 2021 preparing the ground, enriching the soil, and planting thousands of new pecan saplings in a high-density quincunx model, an arrangement that maximizes ground space while trees are young, promoting higher yields. When Jesse learned that 750 acres of contiguous acreage to the Keysville development was available, he reached out to our team and arranged fo another sponsored offering on the platform to the tune of $8.2 million, the largest raise to date.
Investors quickly filled demand for this project—dubbed the Brier Creek Pecan Orchard—in 24 hours, demonstrating a growing interest in permanent crop projects, and especially ones beyond the water-constrained West. Once they are in full production, these contiguous Keysville and Brier Creek parcels will total just over 1,300 acres, making the aggregate property one of the largest improved-variety pecan orchards east of the Mississippi River. Like its Keysville sister property, Brier Creek is also in a federally designated Opportunity Zone, bringing new economic development to this rural community.
Brier Creek Pecan Orchard is an excellent example of why AcreTrader likes to partner with experienced operators in permanent crops, especially for greenfield developments. The nuances and complexity of planting new trees and caring for them in their early, vulnerable years until the first crop is a responsibility best left to experienced farmers. We want to give permanent crop farmers access to investor capital via our platform while letting them maintain full decision-making control of their orchard ground because we value their expertise. And we value yours. If you’re interested in raising capital for your farm business, call our Farm Team at 479-335-5660 and learn more about how we can partner with you.