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Guest Post: The Smartest Investment Of The Decade

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

Here’s something crazy to think about.

Roughly 200,000 people were born today. That’s net world population growth, births minus deaths.

Each one of them constitutes a new mouth to feed. And when they come of age, those 200,000 people will consume, conservatively, about 1,250 Calories per day. Collectively, that’s 91.25 billion Calories per year for the entire 200,000 people that were born today.

Where will they get that food from?

Consider that a cup of rice contains about 300 Calories. An average annual rice harvest yields about 150 bushels per acre, or about 6.7 million Calories per acre of rice grown each year.

In very simple terms, it will take 13,600 acres of cultivated, producing rice land to generate the necessary Calories to feed the 200,000 people that were born today. That’s roughly the size of Manhattan.

Tomorrow, another 13,600 acres will be required to feed the people born tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

This is a conservative estimate. Obviously people eat other things besides rice. Corn has an even lower caloric yield per acre. And as people move up the food chain into dairies and meats, the amount of Calories per acre takes a huge nosedive.

Across Asia in particular, hundreds of millions of people are now being lifted out of abject poverty and into the middle class. As I’ve traveled around the world to more than 100 countries, I’ve seen this with my own eyes– people having disposable income for the first time ever.

As people’s individual wealth levels increase, their dietary habits tend to change as well. Suddenly they start consuming more expensive foods… ‘luxury’ foods like beef. And by comparison, beef yields only about 1.1 million Calories per acre.

Simultaneous to the rapid increase in demand for food, the world is also experiencing a declining trend in supply. Water shortages, loss of topsoil, weather disasters, land development, and insane government policy are all contributing to tightening food supplies.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is the effect of monetary policy. Central bankers around the world continue to print more money. That’s all they know how to do, as if the path to prosperity is paved with paper currency conjured out of thin air.

All of those trillions of dollars, euros, yen, and renminbi end up somewhere… and such monetary inflation has been a huge force in driving up food prices. In fact, just over the last few years, we’ve seen record prices from corn to wheat to sugar to ground beef to milk.

Increasing demand. Tightening supply. Destructive policy. All of these point to a long-term trend in food. And the trend is enormous. The best case scenario is steep food prices. The worst case scenario is severe shortages.

This makes agriculture probably THE place to be over the next ten years, perhaps seconded only by shorting major currencies like the dollar, euro, and yen.

There are a number of ways to invest in agriculture… ETFs, futures, food production companies, agriculture equipment companies, food technology companies, etc. But in my view, there is no better way to make a long-term agricultural investment than owning high quality, productive land.

Like owning physical gold, farmland gives you not only the financial upside of rising agricultural prices, but also the personal assurance of a guaranteed food supply.

Later this week, I’d like to discuss different places in the world where it makes sense to own farmland. Some of my recommendations may surprise you.


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Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:47 | 2973855 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Go long Monsanto and cancer medicines

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:01 | 2973901 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

And 200,000 of my brains cells died after reading this. I think most committed suicide...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:37 | 2973959 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Simon Black is posting this from his solar powered, self-made smart phone from his disease-free, self-sustaining, love&sunflowers only, tax free paradise of an island somewhere in the Caribbean, with concubine made fresh & delicious piña colada in one hand.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:43 | 2974056 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:52 | 2974095's picture

When the Pastoral Symphony kicks in at the end of the clip it sets up a nice contrast to the state of Heston's world. Would liked to have heard it play out.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:03 | 2974132 MillionDollarBogus_
MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

"...Water shortages, loss of topsoil, weather disasters, land development, and insane government policy are all contributing to tightening food supplies..."

He recommends buying farmland.

Then he mentions water shortages.

That's like recommending buying silver....paper silver....SLV...


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:17 | 2974176 Big Slick
Big Slick's picture

When MDB finds holes in your logic, it's time to re-think the message

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:20 | 2974183 Big Slick
Big Slick's picture

Wait!  You're not the real MDB!!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:00 | 2974328 MillionDollarBogus_
MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

How do we know you are the real BS..??

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:38 | 2974454 Tippoo Sultan
Tippoo Sultan's picture

"High-quality, productive" farmland, eh ?

Are you, perchance, familiar with Kelo v. New London ? How long will "productive" land be "allowed" in private hands, in the face of a burgeoning "public need ?"

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:26 | 2974702 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

I'm planting fruit trees... and it's not a 'hobby'.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:06 | 2974355 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture









Farmland?? Good luck getting that past Agenda 21.








Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:27 | 2974208 wahrheit
wahrheit's picture

Touche, well-said.  If he was doing it right it'd be on a floating island of discarded barges with a small fleet of like-minded superhuman sovereigns a la L. Bob Rife's Raft

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:24 | 2973994 machineh
machineh's picture

Roughly 200,000 people were born today. That’s net world population growth, births minus deaths.

Nope. 360,000 people were born today. 160,000 died. Equals 200,000 net world population growth.

How's your financial math? 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:53 | 2974102 ZippyBananaPants
ZippyBananaPants's picture

Schooled +1

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:07 | 2974136 viahj
viahj's picture

"growth"...yeah you picked his glaring mistake and proved your supremacy

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:06 | 2973921 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

High rent as an input cost is a contributor to higher prices. As are high deisel, seed, and fertilizer costs, offsetting the high prices of crops and keeping a tight margin.  

At current land priced relative to rent and productions based on cash crops in any particular area, you wouldn't make a profit for 15 years.

This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Long guns and ammo.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:32 | 2974026 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The one thing that most arm chair investors forget about farm land is that it comes with a certain nasty little secret.

This is called " farm work"

So unless you are good friends with the tooth fairy or can get trustworthy labour at a moments notice, or are prepared to let someone else pocket most of the meagre returns in return for their labour.

Then either prepare for a rude shock or don't bother...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:47 | 2974080 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

There are quite a few really, really good farmers and they're not hard to find if you have the right contacts...  yields are on file, so it's not like the next guy is going to be able to run off with very much...  and you can always inspect harvest...

As someone living in the state where most of the nation's rice is grown and milled, it's my opinion that farm prices are incredibly bublicious.  However, we're a bit different in that we actually have water tables...  as compared to midwestern corn ground that is subject to drought.  This year, on corn ground, you had a lot of crop rent landlords make 10%+.  Drought is only a problem when you don't have irrigation (although it does affect yields depending on the growth cycle of the plant).

China and yankees are piling in here...  dumping dollars.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:00 | 2974119 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

How is that ROI split between capital appreciation and actual profit?

I know some "investor farmers" who just happened to nail the market and did really well for their first few years, basically mocking conventional farmers for being too conservative.

Those same folks now claim that it is "impossible" to make money in farming, but after pouring everything they have got into it, they now have the farming bug and won't sell up, go figure?

In Australia the joke goes, You ask a farmer what he would do if he won the lottery, and he replies "Oh just keep farming till it's all gone".

That pretty much sums it up...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 22:33 | 2974904 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

No, no, no...

They have roomba-like, GPS guided and information fed planting and combine automated equipment now.

No work involved.



Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:20 | 2974184 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

@Machoman, clearly coming from Arkansas, (trading grain there this harvest season myself) which did in fact see absurd yields, particularly on corn, but the rice milling yields look like a poopy flavored lolipop.

We agree that it's a bubble, I would also advise that you keep in mind irrigation can't lower the temperature, so if you're pollenating and it's 115 degrees out, it doesn't matter how much water you put on those plants. they're cooked.

Farm land prices are toppy.

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 10:47 | 2975919 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Very true, but the other issue is that crops were planted so early, this is not much of a risk...  seems to be a long term trend as well...  if we keep going at this rate, we'll be able to get 2 growing seasons in...

But yeah, everyone is subject to other weather conditions.  It's just that comparatively, all things considered, abundant water can mitigate a lot of mother nature's fury...  not all, but a substantial portion.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:48 | 2974087 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

Short term problem. Soon enough the land will be ripe with serfs willing to till your land for you. 
However, they will want a hovel to stay in, most of the crop, and 'protection' from other serfs and mauraders. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:54 | 2974091 akak
akak's picture


The one thing that most arm chair investors forget about farm land is that it comes with a certain nasty little secret.

This is called " farm work"

What, there's no app for that?

Screw that shit!

If I can't do it on my iPhone, then it obviously isn't worth doing at all.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:08 | 2974538 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Typical attitude of American Citizenism....

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:29 | 2974219 wahrheit
wahrheit's picture

Good point but while you have income from other sources, if you can just secure the land it's reassuring in the event of a grid-fall scenario.  You can also rent out your land to ranchers to graze their cows.  Some guy I ran into said he owns 250 acres and to get the state agricultural property tax cut, he did just that.  It wasn't like he was using all of it.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:32 | 2974228 wahrheit
wahrheit's picture

There are also things like "community", "neighbors" and "children"

There's a family in LA that does urban farming on 1/10th of an acre.  Sure, it's a lot of work, but no one said freedom was free.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:54 | 2974506 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Farming has the potential to be the very best lifestyle imaginable.
It's a shame in today's world that it can be taxed regulated and over-controlled while you are forced to sell to monopoly cartels who name their price for your product.

It might have been JFK who said that farmers were the only people who buy retail, and sell wholesale, and pay the freight both ways.

Farming can give you more freedom than many other activities provided that you have enough capital to not be under control of your friendly bankers. Having said that it is still only partial freedom, and will continue to be while we have any form of government fees that are required to be paid in fiat currency.

Break the monopoly of government fiat, and then you will see some freedom.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:41 | 2974064 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Yes, and unless you can do this in massive scale, you will get destroyed. Go look at who is an independent farmer with 10 acers or less. Unless you are doing something along the lines of a pig farm, chickens or some specialty crop good luck.

Agree, the author has an interesting point, but does not know what he is talking about. Its like giving you a typewriter and telling you that you have everything you need to write Lord of the Rings...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:51 | 2974096 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

so you're supposed to be able to make a permanent living off of a ~$40-80k investment?  That's a helluva return.

PS, you can make an incredible living off that many acres if you properly implement vertical farming in the right market.  But it takes more ingenuity than most folks who declare themselves farmers and pray to put food on the table.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:28 | 2974213 Cow
Cow's picture

The rent is too damn high!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:33 | 2974443 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Then mooove!

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 04:37 | 2975419 AgLand
AgLand's picture

NOT all good farmland is in the US, and comes with US prices.

I know from personal experience. ;-)

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 07:00 | 2975485 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

cool, me think more than one of you should be contacting me iN Argentina, if not Zhers are all talk. Farmland in South America is the no brainer play of the last decade and the next..

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:07 | 2973929 OpenEyes
OpenEyes's picture

FUCK Monsanto!  And the Genetically Modified Oganism they rode in on!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:08 | 2974151 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

those are genius - bookmarked!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:17 | 2973964 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

Open your eyes. We have been selectively breeding and splicing agricultural plants and animals since we first started domesticating. We could text GMOs on cancer prone rats, or we can feed GMOs to 98% of all the livestock in the country for 20 years with no signs of cancer anywhere.

Get a clue.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:24 | 2973997 akak
akak's picture

Open your eyes. Governments and oligarchical control structures have been selectively breeding and splicing human cattle for docility and abject acquiescence since they first started domesticating them circa 10,000 BC. They could test liberty on the diminishing freedom-prone minority, or they can feed self-serving statist fear and propaganda to 98% of all the human livestock in the world for 2000 years with no signs of the cancer of self-awareness and self-liberation anywhere.

Get a clue.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:25 | 2974197 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?


I still assert that most people are vastly misinformed or uninformed on GMOs.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:01 | 2974333 wahrheit
wahrheit's picture

Unless you and akak are both trolling (wouldn't be surprised), selectively modifying genes themselves is completely different from selecting from the results of the natural breeding process.  When scientists first mapped out the human genome, they were expecting to find the gene for this and the gene for that so that they could selectively remove and reorder genes.  What they ended up observing is that one gene is connected to a number of, say, different and disparate metabolic processes, thus making the hackneyed switcheroo concept of gene splicing and such an ineffectual procedure.  So, by knocking out a gene that's observed to be connected with leukemia, they might also knock out something that strengthens the immune system.

I assert that most GMO manufacturers are either aware of this and are doing this out of malicious intent, or are just vastly misinformed about the long-term results of what they are doing.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:18 | 2974402 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Clearly, some people find it easier to talk about biology than studying it. Gene splicing is a relatively new technology.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 23:56 | 2975092 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

How Dangerous Is Genetically Modified Food?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:32 | 2974027 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

John, I found a picture of your cow:

(I recognize that it's a bull, but they call 'em super cows.  Here's to always going too far.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:05 | 2974317 overbet
overbet's picture

Look at things like MSG. It is in some way in most processed foods (everything non organic) and it is proven to make you hungry and fat. Selling food that keeps you hungary because it lacks nutrition and you want to buy more because you are starving for nutrition. It causes heatlh problems and that sells meds. And everything causes cancer. Its a big mess.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:33 | 2974720 californiagirl
californiagirl's picture

Speaking of clueless . . .pull you head out of the sand (I am being polite)

Selectively breeding and hybridizing plants with plants and cows with cows, is completely different than forcing genes from a virus, bacteria or insect into a plant or animal, completely unrelated organisms that would never cross in nature.  The spider goats are an excellent example.  Under what senario would a goat and spider cross without genetic engineering by human beings?

No Cancer and other problems from feeding animals GMO's?  All you have to do is search google and you will come up with hundreds of studies showing problems from aroudn the world.  To get you started, take a look at some horizontal gene transfer info in these few articles.  There are plenty more.  Eat a GMO, Become a GMO.  NO THANK YOU!

Until recently it was thought that DNA ingested as part of food would rapidly be broken down by the stomach juices and digestive enzymes of the gut. Since there have been several studies proving otherwise. In an FSA study conducted at Newcastle University, volunteers (people) were fed one meal comprising of a GMO soy veggie burger and a GMO soy milkshake. DNA uptake by the gut bacteria was found in three of the volunteers after only one GM meal. Glad I don't live in GMO farming country and eat organic whenever possible.

Article about Newcastle Study:

Download this interesting research by typing into google: "horizontal gene transfer of viral inserts citeseerx" and select the first item PDf) that comes up. Couldn't find a direct link that is free.

In another study, Bt DNA (cry1Ab gene) was found in detectable quantities in rivers close to GMO cornfields. About 1% of the initial amount of DNA still survived in the aquatic sediment samples after 40 days. The half life was about a week.  So those consuming the water near GMO fields are likely consuming the Bt transgene. In addition, it seems to survive in the soil and has been found after winter, before planting the next crop.

General Info:

Cauliflower Mosaic Viral Promoter:   and

CaMV 35S promoter fragmentation hotspot confirmed, and it is active in animals:


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 22:54 | 2974951 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

got another anti GMO commercial I want to run by you. Opens with acoustic guitar and a sunrise on supermarket glass. through the glass, a young store manager is talking with another young product placement rep. The two are talking shop but obviously get along and are talking outside shop as well. In comes a young coroporate looking type who introduces himself as the new gmo placement rep. He's trying desperately to be cool but also seems paranoid. He starts scanning the aisles and immediately shakes his head. He pulls out the cell phone and calls the office but you can't hear what he says. you then see him grab a product, pull out a competing product and hide it behind the other. HE continues to do this with multiple products using different methods to hide them from view. As he does this, the other two give each other the psycho glance. He then comes upon a twenty five pound of dog foods and starts to panic. He tries to shove it behind a display board then jogs down the aisle and looks back. He whips out the phone and hear him say. No sir, I can still see it. He repeats this until he's outside. I can still see it sir. He looks increasingly panicked until he finally says are you sure, well it is my first day. Thank you sir. Then gets in his car and drives off. Camera cuts back in to the two who say insane. Yeah definitely insane and the music drifts back in. THen a caption to the effect of Their argument makes no sense.                

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 04:30 | 2975384 californiagirl
californiagirl's picture

That could be interesting. All the products being hidden should say Organic or Non-GMO in large letters on them. Not only does their argument not make sense, but why so afraid of organics if there is no real difference between their modified products and non-GMOs. Not sure how to word that. However, it is the main excuse you hear to justify no long-term GMO testing, as if just making that statement somehow creates a fact. The packaging of the Non-GMO product should he bright, energetic and happy (healthy). The GMO packaging can be boring or dreary (sickly), for visual impact.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:24 | 2973992 JohnG
JohnG's picture

They'll find a way to get rid of all those useless eaters.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:07 | 2974360 wahrheit
wahrheit's picture

Too bad they don't start with themselves.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:43 | 2974067 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Go long Monsanto seeds that are resistant to high levels of aluminum in the soil.


Farmland ain't gonna do shit for you without Monsanto's aluminum tolerant seeds,cause you are being sprayed daily with chemicals and one of which is aluminum ,so the earths soils are becomeing toxic with this shit.

Learn up about Chemtrails,and S.A.G  (STATOSPHERIC AREOSOL GEOENGINEERING) and HAARP and how they all work together.

Learn up on "Own the Weather in 2025" where the USA Industrial Military Complex brags up how they fuck with the weather.

Believe me not...????

Learn it on up.

And tell friends and family even if they do want to hear because Star Search is on.

Good luck to all

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:03 | 2974130 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

I see the gov trolls are pushing red buttons today.


wake the fuck up....!!!!

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 03:06 | 2975360 JKearney3153
JKearney3153's picture

<----land and seed

<----gold and silver


We'll see who's standing when you find out the FRBNY is hoarding jack shit

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:49 | 2973860 q99x2
q99x2's picture

That's all fine and dandy except the increase in food prices from everyone seeking economic shelter in farmlands will start starving about 400,000 people per month by 2015.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:49 | 2973862 mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

we have the current technology of farming ability to fedd 25 billion i wouldnt go all hog wild about geting a farm..without the goverment involved and allowing true might make sense but that will happen when pigs fly..or yellowstone erupts and destroys most of our far land..

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:52 | 2973868 PUD
PUD's picture

Do we control the weather and climate now? If not then all that technology is for naught. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:09 | 2973932 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

Meh...factor in global warming and formerly barren areas good only for winter wheat (canada, russia etc.) become more fertile. Long Sasketchewan short Florida.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:54 | 2973878 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

just wait until they start taxing extra periods in comments

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:58 | 2973893 akak
akak's picture

not to mention the lack of appropriate capital letters

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:07 | 2973925's picture

L  k   t f r the V T r v w l  dd d t x.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:10 | 2973934 gjp
gjp's picture

Look out for the VAT or vowel added tax

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:15 | 2973961's picture

B ng !

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:38 | 2974046 fuu
fuu's picture


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:42 | 2974598 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Did he win some gold coins or just a night with your sister?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:08 | 2974649 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Vanna???... Lil help???...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:38 | 2974591 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

they should tax women for having periods

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:35 | 2974041 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

"Some of my recommendations may surprise you."

Be aware of investing in agriculture land in most of the underdeveloped countries. Don't even think unless you have lived there for a minimum of five years. i'm burnt very badly.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:06 | 2974143 pods
pods's picture

Sounds like you had your property confiscated?

To clarify:

Simon only wants you to own land in the world of make believe.



Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:14 | 2974170 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Apparently there were more than one owners of the land I paid and bought. Could never get possession.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:17 | 2974178 akak
akak's picture

Sounds to me like you actually bought paper farmland.

Tell me, Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan were not by chance involved in the transaction, were they?
Just curious.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:36 | 2974243 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

I dealt directly with the government. Later I could not find any one who took responsibilty and I was left alone to fight in the courts. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:04 | 2974350 rodocostarica
rodocostarica's picture

what country was that

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:59 | 2974629 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture


Tue, 11/13/2012 - 04:50 | 2975427 AgLand
AgLand's picture

buying land in any foreign country includes a number of risks.  one needs to definitely do their homework and use local attorneys to ensure validation of land purchases.  Some countries are like the US, and have very easily recorded and followed chains of title, some others allow easy challenges that can cost you your investment in no time.


One does NOT need to live in a country for FIVE years to know what is happening, one just needs to know the local laws and have good legal representation.

When buying land abroad you run into "country risk", "regime risk" and "taxation risk"

For example, South Afrika embodies "country risk".  As a country it is so screwed up you would be a fool to invest there, no matter how good the land or the price.

Venezuela embodies "regime risk", where a "popular" socialist leader does whatever TF he wants and no one seems to say boo about it.

Argentina is a prime example of "taxation risk".  There you can easily ensure you own your land, but you cannot keep the government out of your profits.Brasil exhibits some aspects of "country risk" in that land title is hard to pin down in some places and anyone can seem to challenge you and may win.

Chile and Uruguay are very stable countries, and both are excellent places for farmland purchase.  Both have well organized land systems in place.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:50 | 2973864 PUD
PUD's picture

1. No one should ever speculate in food is immoral

2. The planet will never support 10 billion people

3. The weight of the "havenots" will crush the "haves"

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:02 | 2973905 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Define speculation.  Grain farmers will typically sell about half the expected crop in the futures market as a hedge, and assurance of some return on the massive costs.  Sometimes, like this year, that bites them in the ass as the crops yield less than expected and prices sore.  It's often said that farmers don't get paid to work, they get paid to worry.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:11 | 2973936's picture

A farm is a growing concern.

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 04:51 | 2975429 AgLand
AgLand's picture

Food for thought, huh?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:05 | 2973918 WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

I count 3 opinions stated as facts and 0 empirical facts.  We are in agreement about No. 3, however.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:45 | 2974076 Karlus
Karlus's picture

I would take the other side of the trade and think that foodstuffs along with energy and gold ARE the things that need to be traded. And hoarded.

Show me someone who says food hoarding is bad, and I will show you a communist.


Except Ants, they are good at hoarding and are communists. Ants are okay.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:27 | 2974205 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Correct - it's those damn freeloading Grasshoppers that are the problem.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:47 | 2974081 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

3. The weight of the "havenots" will crush the "haves"

B-Rock of Benghazi already has that covered.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:56 | 2973866 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Like owning physical gold, farmland gives you not only the financial upside of rising agricultural prices, but also the personal assurance of a guaranteed food supply."

Too funny. So are you gonna till the land yourself (cue a picture of Simon Black in farmer Brown coveralls) or will you have one of your indentured servants do it for you?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:00 | 2973896 kito
kito's picture

simon allegedly has a self sustaining farm community in chile where he hires chilean serfs to till the fields.............cleary simon is not up to date on the latest in food creation..........farmland is sooooooo 20th century...............

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:13 | 2973946's picture

Make my beaker medium rare.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:50 | 2974097 centerline
centerline's picture

For a moment I thought you said "banker."  If you had, I think well done would be more appropriate.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:54 | 2974104's picture

The other white meat.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:13 | 2973949 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

"Later this week, I’d like to discuss different places in the world where it makes sense to own farmland. Some of my recommendations may surprise you."

Can't wait.  If by "different places" he means "Chile", you know his ass is underwater.  He'll probably mention how llama dung is the perfect fertilizer for growing high-calorie tubers.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:38 | 2974244 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Look ~ It's a bunch of fucking nonsense...

Want a recommendation?... DON'T BUY FUCKING FARMLAND... When TSHTF what will happen?... I'm here to tell you... Fucking Robespierre II, that's what... 7 years of amateur 'Farmville' college down the drain homeboy...

Want something that MIGHT work?... Buy some 55 gallon food grade barrels, a couple of HP water pumps, some PVC pipe & get to work constructing a Tilapia farm (IN YOUR FUCKING BASEMENT & outta sight)...

That's just the 'starter' kit... You're welcome...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:16 | 2973956 Matt
Matt's picture

"I recommend becoming a feudal lord, as feudalism is clearly the future. And what better place to own a castle and some peasants than Chile? click the link below to subscribe to my newsletter, and begin your journey to becoming lord of your very own manor"

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 22:04 | 2974821 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Castle in Chile?   Here's a little chateau in France.  Pay no attention to the price.  The broker says all offers will be considered.

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 10:45 | 2975906 Matt
Matt's picture

The problem is that, in France, the "peasants" will be living in the chateau, filling up all the rooms, and the government will take 75% of your money. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:37 | 2974586 Overfed
Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:04 | 2973916 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Some of the happiest people I've known are farmers.  Sure beats commuting into the concrete jungle.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:15 | 2973957 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I wasn't commenting on farming. Mrs Cog and I keep a garden that supplements our daily diet and we enjoy the process and outcome. I was commenting about Simon Black talking about things he knows very little about but that sounds pretty good.

I was particularly taken with his notion about having a "gaurenteed" source of food if you own farm land. Anyone who has ever farmed or just grown a garden knows that nothing is gaurenteed when dealing with Mother Nature. And unless he is talking about owning a few acres and growing a variety of vegetables and fruits his farmland will probably be producing mono crops.

Simon Black is a salesman, thus everything he discusses is easy and self evident, a sure sign of very little personal experience in what he is talking about.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:21 | 2973979 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

if we were all "gardeners" there'd be a lot less need for "farmers."

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:37 | 2974045 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I've noticed the same thing, CD.  I'd love to have his travel budget if he goes to half the places he writes about;)

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:46 | 2974079 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

He's a fucking jerk off that couldn't grow a radish in a peat bog if his life depended on it...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:23 | 2973989 wedgeseeds
wedgeseeds's picture

I have sold farm seed in the midwest (MN) for 30 years. Oats Wheat Barley Rye Corn Soybeans, Sorghum, Alfalfa etc to dirt farmers. Farmlands current price $7500-$21,000/acre has no relation to what it can produce. It is completely speculative. High current prices for corn/soybean reduces usage. Jokeanol plants shutting down. Cattle operations going broke.Horse let loose to fend for themselves. There is plenty of food, just get GS to shut down their commodity trading operations...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:01 | 2974635 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Simple. Haul a few semis full of cow shit over to Manhattan and have a flat tire accompanied with a dump-engage/lock malfunction.

Problem solved.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:54 | 2973876 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I'm losing whatever little respect for Simon Black had remained.

Talk about buying the top; farmland has appreciated 400% to 1100% in a decade in the midwest as a result of attracting "know-nothing-about-agriculture-or-farming-whatsoever" investors. The prices being paid are so high, in fact, that these investors are making the "hoped for continued appreciation" rate on their land front & center as they cope with negative real real-time returns (i.e. the actual yield per acre).

Sound familiar, bitchez?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:00 | 2973895 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  I have watch land around our operation that sold for $1,500 an acre in 2000, sell for over $15,000 in the last 6-months.  Good luck with any return and thanks for contributing to future deflationary forces (because it will be nice to have something to offset the future cost of diesel).  These people will lose their ass (or the bernanke will get inflation like never before and all hell breaks loose).

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:12 | 2973944 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

+1 Clueless speculation that high corn prices = large margins will starve us all. It is a bubble. The only thing a panicked modern investor believes in.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:01 | 2973898 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

You ever had any respect for Simon?


It's clear he is clueless on every subject he writes about, but just regurgitates soundbytes without comprehension.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:23 | 2973990 Matt
Matt's picture


I don't think he is advising you to buy land in the American Midwest, or anywhere in North America at all.

I'm betting South America, Africa, Eastern Europe will make the list of places he recommends. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:30 | 2974021 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Okay, I'm down for 10,000 acres in the Sudan and Ethiopia, then.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:48 | 2974088 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Send 'em suitcases... Send 'em U-Hauls...


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:20 | 2974185 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

reckon this article ties in well with the google search for ex-pat'ng post recently, everyone can be a gentleman farmer, or pull a plow, as the situation warrants. . .

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:54 | 2973879 bigrooster
bigrooster's picture

Got my 40 acres!  Long chickens and corn.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:13 | 2973950 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

Looks like the market for sheep is overbought. We're going to have to liquidate...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:57 | 2974312 Agent P
Agent P's picture

If you live in Kentucky, you could always open a brothel.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:03 | 2974636 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

there are women in Kentucky?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:15 | 2973887 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Check that Simon, many born today won't survive.  Long sharecropping and the means to protect your "investments."

Math matters, energy in relative to energy recovered matters, both are ignored by the MSM.

By the way Simon, nothing is guarranteed, especially when it comes to Nature and the laws of physics.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:42 | 2974268 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Fuck Simon Black... Ever see the movie 'Sommersby'?... The whole 'wannabe' sharecropping town was trading in their gold, silver, & family heirloom jewelry for a few bags of tobacco seeds (including the landowner)...

Now ~ who do you want to be in that scenario?...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:00 | 2973894 duo
duo's picture

A neighbor of my uncle an hour north of Detroit bought some land that hadn't been farmed in 15 years, it had been fallow the whole time.  He said he got 200 bbu per acre this year, almost double what he was getting on the land he farmed every year. 

It's the TOPSOIL that is not renewable.  Farmland must regenerate with wild grasses every few years.  That's how the topsoil got there in the first place.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:02 | 2973904 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, we grow legumes and simply turn them into land in rotation. Putting back nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus etc. in the required oxidation state.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:30 | 2974018 Matt
Matt's picture

The nitrogen comes from the air, but doesn't the sulfur and phosphorus just get pulled up by the roots from deep underground? If so, won't you eventually deplete them?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:29 | 2974570 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Plants cannot do anything with the nitrogen in the air. It must be reduced to ammonia by bacteria called "diazotrophs" who are provided organic acids by the plant. We add the other nutrients but (like many others) we find that the soil comes back faster if this is done. There are numerous benefits to letting this symbiotic process proceed and let other soil bacteria do their job. Bacteria in the horse and cow shit helps too. Ecosystems matter.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:24 | 2974427 wahrheit
wahrheit's picture

I've read that hemp is useful for this purpose also, while still producing usable products.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:10 | 2973919 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

dead on duo

and the natural grasses are not only necessary for topsoil, they provide an enduring pastureland that does not need to be tilled and should not be as well as pasturefeed throughout winter. See the piece in the documentary "A farm for the future" on YouTube on the "eccentric" english farmer and his wild grasses. We have to observe nature not "conquer" her - or she will conquer us.   

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:22 | 2973987 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

+1 for something that it seems a lot of farmers overlook as well (judging by some of the farmland around the parts where I live). They just keep tilling the soil (thus drying it even further), use a shotgun to sow their GMO seeds and hope for the best. When it doesn't work, the answer apparently is more chemicals.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:23 | 2974194 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

handy tools, eh.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:02 | 2973900 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

Nothing another world war wouldn't fix.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:12 | 2973945 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Or monkey pox........

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:02 | 2973907 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

actually survival may very well depend on anything but "classic farmland" Our modern farming techniques (oil, gmos, soil destruction, water table depletion & pesticides) are probably the biggest threat to our food supply. Permaculture, a massive diversity of edible and perennial crops, and working with each natural local environment instead of against it has always been the only self sustaining method. Most of modern farming's labor and energy are directed at trying to keep the land from reverting back to its natural state. Why not work with it? True ecosystems are not lateral, they're vertical with at least seven layers of edible growth. Each putting out and putting in minerals that feed each other, each providing habitat for a diversity of species that keep any one particular food pest in check. Our humility and our respect for the greater system are the only ticket out.    

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:12 | 2973942 Shigure
Shigure's picture

+1 You might be interested in this link:

Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming and Permaculture

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:22 | 2973966 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

yeah, I love his his near death experience just as he's studying all the early twentieth century "superior" modern farming methods. He then realizes it's all backwards and proves, like many others who practice permaculture, that the methods are more productive, more resilient, and produce superior nutrition 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:56 | 2974307 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Sound's similar to Faulkner's realization that cyclical mould board plowing was causing more harm than good.  Of course now we've realized it's more than just the plow hardpanning the soil - it's also keeping the symbiotic micro flora/fauna at the proper strata to facilitate the plants' uptake of nutriants.

Long-live Joel Saladin.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:40 | 2974058 Wave-Tech
Wave-Tech's picture

Best measure to keep your belly full and your palatte pleased is GO-FOODS my friends - its a helluva lot cheaper than buying and working a friggin farm, AND you don't need to wait for anything to grow.  Get it while you still can.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:27 | 2974209 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

not so very keen on the "GoForces" sideline. . . but I understand the concept of selling people ideas for profit.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:03 | 2973910 Intoxicologist
Intoxicologist's picture

Why is it whenever I click on a Simon Black post, I feel the need to go put my rubber boots on? You know, the kind you wear to clean out the barn.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:05 | 2973917 Essential Nexus
Essential Nexus's picture

Gold appreciated more in value during Wiemar than land did.

I'm thinking some land and lots of gold. Agricultural subsidies account for so much of land value now that hyperinflation that would kill the subsidies would also likely kill some of the land value. What also needs to be considered is water supply: do you own the rights to the water and how will these rights be enforced? What will taxes on my income from the land look like? How long will it be before I could liquidate any of my land at a reasonable price?

Overall, I see the best trade being buy physical gold Krugerrands (not too much silver, because it has high industrial demand), and then trade these for assets over a period of 15 or so years to get maximum benefit from deflation in real terms and to avoid the havoc.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:07 | 2973922 The Proletariat
The Proletariat's picture

The Smartest Investment of The Decade......time to sell

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:07 | 2973924 rustymason
rustymason's picture

After reading this, I suddenly feel like shorting a few agricultural REITs.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:07 | 2973930 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

Has anybody figured out how to hide farmland from the greedy hand of government (i.e. confiscation through ad valorem or other taxes)?  I'm sure the "landed" aristocracy of China and Russia early in the last century thought they were set too . . . . boy did that change through "land reform".

How the ^%$#&*  are you going to keep your farmland when your government can artibtrarily tax you out of existence (like they already do), and every other sheeple in your jurisdiction has been brainwashed to believe in their right to do so????

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:36 | 2974042 Wave-Tech
Wave-Tech's picture

Not to mention the AGENDA 21 Nazi dictates coming to a farmland near YOU

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:00 | 2974118 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Agreed, which is why a small plot, sufficient to feed a family (or several to feed a small community), is likely to prove far preferable to investing in farmland.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:02 | 2974334 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Downsizing and localization are the new trends anyway.  The days of the 3,000 mile salad are about over.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:13 | 2974165 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The single easiest way to hedge against government involvement in farmland is to find land that is in a predominantly agricultural county and that has no major city within the county...  in other words a county that YOU, as landlord, control politically.  They do exist...  many of them...  measure twice, cut once.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:40 | 2974463 zjxn06
zjxn06's picture

County: Kings
State: California
Farm/company: J G Boswell (publicly traded symbol:BWEL)

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:08 | 2973931 Segestan
Segestan's picture

That trend only tells me communism will be the worlds form of government. Followed by mass starvation and a bloody reboot.Good luck on that 40 acres.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:11 | 2973939 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Buying arable land is a pretty good long term investment, but buying "farmland" specifically is probably not, and yes there is a difference; land sold as "farmland" has generally been farmed to death and won't yield much.  The smarter buy is in stuff like foreclosed residential lots, particularly in suburbs/exurbs.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:27 | 2973968 Roandavid
Roandavid's picture

Many, many, many ... most residential lots had their topsoil stripped off and sold during the development process.  You better take your auger over to the site and make sure you have some dirt to farm.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:59 | 2974116 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Paved over Detroit may prove to be the best option...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:11 | 2973940 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Does anyone really think that an average, upper middle class, non-politicall-connected landowner/investor would be allowed to keep their land or the profits from it in a financial collapse, hyperinflation, or food shortage scenario?




Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:24 | 2973996 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Not even to get into the fact that you can't put your farmland in your bugout bag and take it with you when there's a real emergency.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:29 | 2974017 akak
akak's picture

What good is farmland, you can't eat it anyway.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:44 | 2974074 fuu
fuu's picture

But it only costs $5 to dig it out of the ground.

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