Investors and pension funds are buying up farmland. What happens to the land itself?
What happens when trillions of dollars’ worth of land shifts in ownership from farmers to investors? As farmers retire from the profession and the value of their farmland increases, so does interest among wealthy non-farmers and pension funds, who are now buying that land at a rapid clip. Local and environmental advocates fear that this form of “absentee ownership” will lead to owners who prioritize short-term dividends over long-term, ecologically-sound agricultural practices. But one land broker disagrees, arguing that it makes a lot more financial sense for investors to keep their land as resilient as possible through time. NPR has the story.