Gladstone Land increases dividend for first time

The US farmland REIT increased the monthly dividend by 16.7% in January.

Gladstone Land, the listed US farmland real estate investment trust (REIT), increased its monthly dividend distribution by 16.7 percent starting from January, according to an announcement.

This is its first increase since listing on the NASDAQ in January 2013.

It now pays $0.035 a share monthly and $0.42 a year. The increase was enabled by farmland acquisitions during 2014 and the requirement for REITs to distribute 90 percent of taxable income to shareholders. The REIT’s latest acquisition was a 331-acre strawberry farm in California.

“If we are able to meet our projections during the upcoming year, we are hopeful that we may be able to increase the distributions again during 2015,” wrote David Gladstone, the chairman. “The average yield on all REIT stocks is about 3.7%, and we have now passed that milestone. We believe that 2015 will be a great year for our company. Please eat more fruits and vegetables.”

Farmland Partners, the only other listed farmland REIT, was also able to increase its dividend in November after pursuing an aggressive acquisition strategy in 2014.