Pensions Favour Farmland

story_images_AgricultureU.S. pension funds are turning to farmland to harvest better returns at a time when other asset classes are underperforming. According to a recent article in Pensions & Investments, major public pension funds in the US like The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Oregon Investment Council are committing millions to farmland investments or farmland in a real estate allocation. Farmland produces income and a 7% to 10% return expectation — it’s also a natural inflation hedge with low correlations to other asset classes. As investors put more money into the asset class, the NCREIF Farmland Index is climbing rapidly — at the end of last year, the index represented $2.9 billion, up 107% from the fourth quarter of 2006, when it stood at just $1.4 billion.