Farmland Prices May Rise Amid Economic Recovery, Hancock Says

May 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. farmland prices may rebound from the first drop in 22 years as the economy recovers from the longest recession since the 1930s, said Jeff Conrad, the president of Hancock Agricultural Investment Group.

“The farm sector never really took a big downturn” during the recession, Conrad said today in an interview at an industry conference in New York. “This is an attractive time” to invest in farmland, he said.

Prices for agricultural property will be “flat to trending up” this year, said Conrad, whose Boston-based company manages $1.2 billion of farmland in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Total returns for Hancock’s farmland investments may be 7 percent to 10 percent this year, Conrad said.

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