Farmland Prices May Be Supported on Commodity Gains, Hertz Says

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Farmland prices may be supported by gains in commodity demand and limited supplies available for sale, even as U.S. economic growth remains slow, said Joel Hertz, the chairman of Hertz Farm Management.

Improving technology and equipment has allowed farmers to plant more land faster, while industry consolidation means land doesn’t turn over as quickly, Hertz said in a speech at the Allendale agriculture outlook conference in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

World population growth and rising demand in Asia may support commodity prices long term, he said.

“If you ask me is it time to purchase land, I would say, yes,” Hertz said. “The future of agriculture is very bright. Even though we’re looking for a downturn in land prices, it’s not going to go down very far.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net