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Farmland Partners boosts portfolio again

The New York-listed farmland REIT has made $46m of acquisitions in several US states.

Farmland Partners, the listed farmland real estate investment trust (REIT), has made $46 million of acquisitions in South Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas and Nebraska. The firm is currently trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $10.31 a share, down 30 percent on its April IPO price.

This is the ninth time the REIT has boosted its farmland portfolio since it listed in April.

The REIT will pay $28 million for seven row crop farms totalling 6,819 acres in South Carolina and $18 million for eight farms and 3,588 acres across Nebraska, Colorado and Arkansas.

Farmland Partners intends to secure mortgage financing for the South Carolina acquisitions representing 60 percent of the purchase price.

The deals are expected to be completed by late December this year.

Farmland Partners has had an eventful year. Most recently the firm announced a share buyback scheme worth $10 million in order to bolster its share price. Earlier in the year the firm secured a debt facility from agricultural lender Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.

Farmland investors are feeling the effects of the competitive US farmland market, with recent data showing prices have stagnated in some areas or dipped slightly during the third quarter of the year.

“On the acquisitions side, we are able to find plenty of transactions at valuations and cap rates we find attractive, but we turn down way more deals than we put under contract,” said Luca Fabbri, chief financial officer at Farmland Partners. “Occasionally we find some softness, typically when a seller is motivated by estate planning or similar factors, but we haven’t seen any true ‘bargains’ –the market is way too competitive for that to happen.”