The Fund's objective is to generate an attractive total return through the acquisition and management of farmland in the Midwestern states of the United States which may also include directly managing the operations of these farms. While most farmland acquisitions contain a large proportion of tillable acres that are used to grow corn, soybeans and wheat as primary crops, they generally also include acres that are not suitable for farming and may include forests, lakes, buildings, roads, ditches and other such areas that will not be used as tillable acres. The Manager seeks to obtain income from both tillable and non-tillable areas wherever possible in a way that is reasonable given the unique characteristics of each farm parcel.
There are primarily two means of assessing rent on farmland. First, a cash rent per tillable acre that is generally collected in March or April before any crops are planted. In a cash rent arrangement, all risks associated with planting, growing and harvesting the crop are assumed by the tenant farmer. Second, a crop share rent may be arranged whereby the tenant farmer and landlord share in varying percentages the input costs and revenue from the crop. In a crop share arrangement the landlord also assumes a portion of the crop risks. Crop insurance and hedging techniques are available to lessen the risks in a crop share arrangement, but the risks and generally the returns are greater in a crop share rent as opposed to a cash rent. The Manager uses both cash rent and crop share rent arrangements to enhance the Fund's return as appropriate. The term of farm leases may range from annual renewals with rent negotiated each year to multiple year leases that may extend from three to five years with annual rents either fixed or adjustable based on a schedule tied to grain prices. Annual leases are preferred in markets where grain prices are rising so that rent can be reset to reflect the market value of the crops. Multiple year leases are preferred in stable or declining grain price markets. The Manager uses both annual and multiple year farm leases for the Fund. The Manager seeks to achieve the highest revenue production from each farm that is consistent with the long-term enrichment of the farm's value. This includes leasing the farmland to individual hunters or outfitters during the hunting season. The Manager will negotiate a separate hunting lease in such instances that requires the hunter or outfitter to maintain adequate liability insurance and includes other provisions to protect the interests of the Fund. The Manager may use leverage to increase the potential for gain from the Fund's investment approach. The Fund is not subject to any specific limitations on borrowing or other forms of leverage, however, the Fund generally maintains through borrowing a ratio of total market exposure to net assets of between 1:1 and 2:1. Management Fee: 1% > $1mm; 2% < $1mm. Fund AUM reflects Firm AUM.