Published on Mar 9, 2018
The Land Investment Monthly is a round-up of articles and headlines published by the farm press, business media and financial publications with insights into buying, selling or investing in farm land, recreational ground or development ground.
South Africa is trying to stop paying white farmers when it takes their land
Right now in South Africa, white people own 72 percent of the country's farmland, even though they're just 8 percent of the population.
But the country's government wants to change that. In an effort to redistribute the land more evenly, South Africa’s parliament advanced a motion Tuesday to allow the government to seize people's land — without compensation. The country already allows land seizure, known as expropriation, but the constitution requires that the owners receive payment. Read More
Farmers look beyond the land to make ends meet
Most U.S. farm households can’t solely rely on farm income, turning what was once a way of life into a part-time job. On average, 82% of U.S. farm household income is expected to come from off-farm work this year, up from 53% in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Off-farm work has become more important since a slump in prices for corn, wheat and other farm commodities over the past five years has cut total U.S. farm income in half. Last week, the USDA said income from farming is expected to fall further over the next decade. Now, picking up work in construction or truck driving is required for many farmers to fund seed and fertilizer purchases, and keep current on loan payments for tractors and land.
“Most farmers are still on their land today because of their off-farm jobs,” said Dan Kowalski, head of research at CoBank , one of the largest U.S. agricultural lenders. “Without these jobs, these farms would be consolidating at a faster rate.” Read More
India hikes chickpea duty again
The Indian government has raised the import tariff for chickpeas from 40 percent to 60 percent. This is the second time India has raised the tariff.
The tariffs were placed in order to support Indian farmers who faced lower commodity prices following large world crops of pulses.
The Indian government has previously said it wants to reach self-sufficiency for pulses, but many analysts have said that isn’t possible as India relies on variable monsoon rains for its growing season. Read More
Despite downturn, R&D money is flowing into agriculture
Farming might seem bleak right now, given the downturn in commodity prices the last few years. That’s not deterring outside money coming into agriculture, though, says Adrian Percy, who heads crop research and development for Bayer Crop Science.
“Companies like IBM and Google are entering the ag space, along with venture capital firms investing in start-up companies,” he says. “Ideas are coming in from other industries, like health care. A lot of biotech advances are finding their way into agriculture.” Read More