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Our readers come first

 

Our primary goal at The Modest Wallet is to help our readers make smarter money decisions without needing a finance degree. Because personal finance education should be free and accessible to everyone.

 

As an independent publisher, transparency is at the core of what we do and how we do it, so we want you to know that we regularly partner with brands that have products and services that align with our values and will help our readers. When you click on some of the links on our site and complete a required action (i.e., sign up for a promotion, download an app, purchase an item, etc.), we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

 

These partnerships may influence the products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but they in no way affect our recommendation. All of our content and reviews are based on our research and honest opinion. This is regardless of the compensation. None of our partners or advertisers have editorial input or control because our relationship with our readers always comes first.

6 Best Farmland Investing Platforms in 2022

Farmland investing platforms have made it possible for retail investor to access to this asset class for as little as $100

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In the past, farmland investing was only available to people who could afford to buy large amounts of land to rent to farmers, so it was inaccessible to most investors. 

Enter: farmland investing platforms.

With a farmland investing platform, you can get farmland exposure in your portfolio without purchasing huge cropland areas.

However, finding the perfect agricultural investment platform for your needs is no easy feat. In this article, we’ve reviewed the best farmland investing platforms available today so you can decide which one is right for your portfolio.


Best Farmland Investing Platforms

There are plenty of companies out there that make it easy for you to invest in agricultural land. Here are the best farmland investing platforms to check out as you determine whether this asset class deserves a place in your portfolio.

1. AcreTrader: Best for Diversity of Land Holdings

AcreTrader Homepage
Source: AcreTrader

AcreTrader is one of the most popular platforms for investors who want to own parcels of farmland across the US.

With AcreTrader, you can sort through potential investment opportunities based on their location, crop type, minimum investment amount, and anticipated annual return. The company has due-diligence checks in place to ensure that it only selects high-quality land to offer to its investors. 

However, AcreTrader is open only to accredited investors, and its minimum investment amounts are typically around $15,000 to $40,000. AcreTrader does let you invest through an SDIRA, though it’s worth noting that the company’s initial investment fees are slightly higher than what you might find elsewhere.

Main Features:

  • Investor Eligibility: Accredited investors only
  • Minimum Investment: $15,000 to $40,000
  • Account Types: Taxable accounts or SDIRA
  • Fees: 2% initial investment fee + 0.75% annual fee
  • Distribution Frequency: Typically once per year
  • Customer Support Options: Email & phone

Pros: 

  • Very well-established farmland investing platform
  • Offers investment opportunities across the US and for different types of farmland
  • Sleek user interface makes it easy to search for land investment opportunities that meet your criteria
  • Opportunity to invest through an SDIRA

Cons: 

  • Only open to accredited investors
  • Initial investment fees are relatively high

In A Nutshell

  • Minimum Investment: $10,000
  • Fees: Flat fee of 0.75% to 1.00% on the assets invested (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: None

on AcreTrader’s website

2. FarmTogether: Best for Tax-Advantaged Farmland Investing

FarmTogether Homepage
Source: FarmTogether

FarmTogether is a well-established farmland investing platform with over $175 million in assets under management. With FarmTogether, accredited investors can search the company’s user-friendly website to find farmland investment opportunities across the US.

Most of the opportunities on Farm Together have minimum investment requirements of at least $15,000. But the majority of FarmTogether’s landholdings provide regular distributions to investors, so they can serve as a source of passive income.

FarmTogether also lets you invest through an SDIRA if you have an account at Alto IRA, which makes it a worthwhile option if you want farmland exposure in your retirement portfolio. But it’s worth noting that most of FarmTogether’s land offerings have target hold lengths of 10+ years, so it’s best for long-term investors.

Main Features:

  • Investor Eligibility: Accredited investors only
  • Minimum Investment: $15,000 and up
  • Account Types: Taxable accounts and SDIRA through Alto IRA
  • Fees: Varies (typically 1% initial investment fee + 1% annual fee)
  • Distribution Frequency: Quarterly, semi-annually, or annually
  • Customer Support Options: Email & phone

Pros: 

  • Long-running platform that lets you buy parcels of farmland
  • Opportunity to invest in farmland through an Alto IRA account
  • Typically provides regular distribution payments to investors
  • Wide array of farmland investing opportunities available

Cons: 

  • Long target hold periods aren’t ideal for short-term investing
  • Accredited investors only

In A Nutshell

  • Minimum Investment: $15,000
  • Fees: Flat fee of 1% to 2% for acquisition and 1% to 2% annual management fee (*varies by deal)
  • Promotion: None

on FarmTogether’s website

3. Steward: Best for Non-Accredited Investors

Steward Homepage
Source: Steward

Steward is one of the more unique farmland investing platforms on our list. Instead of providing a platform where you can purchase parcels of farmland, Steward is a crowdfunded loan site for farmers. Its projects are typically sustainability-focused, and they generally provide loans to smaller family-run farms.

What sets Steward apart from the pack is that it has a low minimum investment amount of $100 and that it’s open to non-accredited investors. Plus, investors with Steward typically receive monthly interest payments until the loans that they invested in mature.

That said, Steward doesn’t let you buy actual farmland. There’s also a risk that the borrower will default on their loan, which could cause you to lose money. But if you’re a non-accredited investor who wants indirect exposure to farmland, it’s worth considering. 

Main Features:

  • Investor Eligibility: All investors
  • Minimum Investment: $100
  • Account Types: Taxable accounts
  • Fees: None for investors
  • Distribution Frequency: Monthly
  • Customer Support Options: Email, phone, Whatsapp

Pros: 

  • Open to non-accredited investors
  • Low minimum investment requirement
  • Typically pays monthly interest payments to investors
  • Most projects are sustainability-focused and support family-run businesses

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t let you own actual parcels of farmland
  • Risk that borrowers will default on loans and you will lose your capital

In A Nutshell

  • Minimum Investment: $100
  • Fees: None for investors
  • Promotion: None

on Steward’s website

4. FarmFundr: Best for Farmer-Run Platform

FarmFundr Homepage
Source: FarmFundr

FarmFundr is an investment platform for agricultural land that’s run by Brandon Silveira, a fourth-generation farmer and experienced real estate investor.

The FarmFundr platform is only available to accredited investors. It supports taxable investment accounts, SDIRAs and Self-Directed Solo 401(k)s through Rocket Dollar. For some opportunities, FarmFundr also has relatively low minimum investment requirements of $10,000.

Additionally, FarmFundr is one of the few platforms that actually manages the land that it offers to investors. But the company isn’t overly transparent with its fee structure, making it difficult to compare FarmFundr’s opportunities to investments you can find elsewhere.

Main Features:

  • Investor Eligibility: Accredited investors only
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000 to $100,000
  • Account Types: Taxable accounts or SDIRA & Self-Directed Solo 401(k) through Rocket Dollar
  • Fees: Varies by investment
  • Distribution Frequency: Annually
  • Customer Support Options: Email & phone

Pros: 

  • Farmer-owned company
  • Company manages the land it offers to investors
  • Relatively low minimum investment requirement for some projects
  • Supports Self-Directed Solo 401(k) & SDIRA investments

Cons: 

  • Lacks transparency about fee structure
  • Only open to accredited investors

In A Nutshell

  • Minimum Investment: $10,000
  • Fees: Varies by investment
  • Promotion: None

on FarmFundr’s website

5. Harvest Returns: Best for Low Minimum Investment Requirement

Harvest Returns Homepage
Source: Harvest Returns

Harvest Returns is a platform that provides sustainability-focused farmland investment opportunities. Most of the farms that the company works with are also owned by families or young farmers.

There are a few benefits to Harvest Returns, including the company’s relatively low minimum investment requirement of around $5,000. Harvest Returns also has some opportunities that are open to non-accredited investors, and it doesn’t charge any annual management fees.

But it’s worth noting that Harvest Returns is a small company. Harvest Returns has just around $20 million in assets under management, so it may not have that many opportunities available to investors at any given time.

Main Features:

  • Investor Eligibility: Primarily accredited and institutional investors (some investments open to non-accredited investors)
  • Minimum Investment: $5,000 (can be higher for some projects)
  • Account Types: Taxable accounts or SDIRA
  • Fees: No annual fee (initial investment fees vary by project)
  • Distribution Frequency: Quarterly or annually (not guaranteed)
  • Customer Support Options: Email & phone

Pros: 

  • Most investment projects support sustainability initiatives, young farmers, or family-run businesses
  • Some opportunities are available to non-accredited investors
  • Relatively low $5,000 minimum investment for most projects
  • Doesn’t charge annual management fees

Cons: 

  • Small farmland investment platform with fewer assets under management
  • May not have as many investment projects available at one time

In A Nutshell

  • Minimum Investment: $5,000
  • Fees: No annual fee (initial investment fees vary by project)
  • Promotion: None

on Harvest Returns’ website

6. Farmland LP: Best for Hands-Off Farmland Investors

FarmlandLP Homepage
Source: Farmland LP

Farmland LP is an asset management company that offers farmland investing opportunities with an emphasis on sustainable land development. To invest with Farmland LP, you need to be an accredited or institutional investor.

Farmland LP’s investment opportunities are different from what you’d find elsewhere as you can’t select specific parcels of land to buy. Rather, Farmland lets you invest in its privately-held REIT, which owns tens of thousands of acres of high-quality farmland, most of which is dedicated to organic crops. 

This means that investing in Farmland LP typically requires less in-depth research on the part of the investor as there are fewer investment opportunities to choose from. However, you have to meet the $50,000 minimum investment requirement to work with Farmland LP, and you’ll have less choice over what projects your funds are used for.

Main Features:

  • Investor Eligibility: Accredited & institutional investors
  • Minimum Investment: $50,000
  • Account Types: Taxable accounts or SDIRA
  • Fees: 1.75% on invested capital for first six years of investment, 1.75% on fund net asset value thereafter
  • Distribution Frequency: Varies by fund
  • Customer Support Options: Support ticket

Pros: 

  • Long-running investment company with $175+ million in AUM
  • Focus on sustainability and organic farming
  • Ability to invest through an SDIRA
  • Lets you invest through professionally managed private farmland REITs

Cons: 

  • High minimum investment requirement
  • Accredited and institutional investors only
  • Doesn’t let you invest in specific parcels of land

In A Nutshell

  • Minimum Investment: $50,000
  • Fees: 1.75% on invested capital for first six years of investment, 1.75% on fund net asset value thereafter
  • Promotion: None

on Farmland LP’s website


What to Look for in a Farmland Investing Platform

Selecting a farmland investing company to work with can be a challenge. To help you out, here are some of the key things to look for as you search for your next farmland investing platform.

Minimum Investment

The minimum investment requirement for farmland investing platforms is typically between $10,000 to $20,000. There are a few reasons why these platforms have such high minimum investment requirements. 

The first is that most of these companies want you to invest in a sizable parcel of farmland, which will generally cost around $10,000 to $20,000 an acre. The other reason behind these requirements is that most of these platforms are only open to institutional or accredited investors, who typically have larger sums of money at their disposal.

Some companies, like Steward, provide lower minimum investment amounts. But many of the companies with lower requirements are crowdfunding sites where you’re not directly buying an equity stake in a parcel of farmland. So, there are some potential tradeoffs to working with a platform that has lower investment requirements.

Commissions & Fees

Most farmland investing platforms charge investors fees for their services. These fees are typically charged either at the time of the investment or as an ongoing management fee.

While there are some companies that don’t charge fees, these are the exception, not the rule. Fees are a fact of life for many farmland investors, but it’s worth looking for platforms with lower fees so that these charges don’t eat into your potential profit margins.

Eligibility Requirements

The majority of farmland investing platforms are only open to institutional or accredited investors (people with net worths of over $1 million and annual incomes of at least $200,000).

This means that most farmland investing sites aren’t accessible for individual investors as the majority of people can’t meet these requirements. There are a few platforms that accept non-accredited investors, so keep an eye out for them if you’re looking to invest in farmland without accreditation status.

Account Types

Most farmland investments are held in taxable accounts. But in some cases, farmland investing platforms let you hold your assets in a tax-advantaged individual retirement account (IRA).

Keep in mind that most IRA custodians don’t let you invest directly in farmland. This means that you typically need a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) or Self-Directed Solo 401(k) in order to hold farmland assets in your account.

If you’re interested in investing in farmland through a tax-advantaged account, it’s worth double-checking whether your chosen platform supports SDIRAs or SD Solo 401(k)s.

Holding Period

Some farmland investing platforms have required holding periods in place that dictate how long you have to hold your assets before you can sell. 

In most situations, this holding period is at least a few years long, but it can vary from platform to platform. Some investment opportunities within platforms have longer holding periods than others, so always read the fine print before you invest.

Distribution Frequency

Long-term returns on investment with farmland typically come from appreciation in the value of the farmland itself. However, some platforms also give you distributions that are paid out from farmland rental fees.

Depending on the particular platform you work with, you might receive your distributions monthly, quarterly, or annually. But keep in mind that these distributions often aren’t guaranteed as they depend on the performance of your investment.

Track Record

When you work with a farmland investing platform, you need to know that the company you’re investing with is a legitimate operation with a solid track record. 

As a result, it’s important that you read up on the company and its background. Always check to see what experience a firm’s fund managers have in agricultural investing. That way, you can feel more confident in your decision to work with a given company.

Performance

Last but not least, it’s always worth considering the historical returns that a farmland investing platform has been able to provide to its investors.

Of course, past returns are no guarantee of future success, especially when you consider short-term volatility. But a reputable platform with a good management team should be able to produce reliable returns over the long term.


Farmland Investing Platforms Pros

  • Makes it easier for investors to get exposure to farmland without the need to manage the land
  • Offers an opportunity to invest in farmland across geographic locations to diversify your real estate holdings
  • Many platforms let you hold your farmland investments within a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) or Self-Directed Solo 401(k), which can provide tax advantages
  • Some platforms provide regular dividend payouts to investors

Farmland Investing Platform Cons

  • Most farmland investing platforms are only open to institutional or accredited investors
  • Assets held on these platforms are typically very illiquid
  • Farmland investing platforms are designed for long-term portfolio strategies and not short-term growth
  • No guarantee of long-term returns or regular dividend payouts

FAQs: Best Farmland Investing Platforms

Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about farmland investing.

What Is the Best Farmland Investing Platform?

There are many great farmland investing platforms available. If you want to own specific parcels of land on different farms, consider sites like AcreTrader or FarmTogether. If you’d rather invest in a private farmland investment fund, a platform like Farmland LP is worth checking out. Or, if you want a lower minimum investment requirement, Steward is a solid option.

What Is the Best Way to Invest in Farmland?

There are many ways to invest in farmland, including owning it directly, and no strategy is inherently better than the rest. If you don’t want the hassle of directly owning land, you can invest in farmland through specialty REITs and purpose-built farmland investing platforms.

Is Farmland a Good Investment?

Farmland can be a good investment, but only if you know what you’re getting into. Historically, farmland provides solid long-term growth, though it is an illiquid investment. Farmland investing also typically requires a large amount of capital, so it’s not accessible to everyone.

How Can I Invest in Farmland Without Being an Accredited Investor?

The primary way to invest in farmland without being an accredited investor is through a publicly-traded REIT that holds agricultural land assets or through farmland investing platforms. Alternatively, non-accredited investors can buy farmland directly, but doing so requires a lot of capital.


Final Thoughts

Farmland investing platforms provide a streamlined way for investors to diversify their portfolios. These platforms make it easy for qualified investors to gain market exposure to farmland with minimal hassle.

As is the case with all things money-related, though, it’s important that you consider the pros and cons of agricultural investing with a platform before you sign up. We hope this article helped you better understand the farmland investing platforms that are available to you so you can maximize your portfolio.

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