- February 1, 2016: Vol. 3, Number 2

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Harvest Season for Investors: Growing populations and middle classes are forcing more countries to increase grain imports

by Dennis Moon and John Taylor

The world’s arable land is basically fixed, but at the same time, the global population count continues to rise and newly prosperous nations are demanding more food. Note the following statistics:

• Arable land worldwide has held steady at about 3.4 billion acres for at least a decade.

• Most of the grain produced in the world today is consumed.

• The global population is now 7 billion and could hit 8 billion in a decade.

• Middle classes growing in emerging markets such as China are demanding more and better food.

• The competition for corn continues between ethanol producers and the food industry.

• With 11 percent of the world’s arable land and just 4 percent of the population, the United States is often called “the world’s breadbasket.” For comparison, China has less farmland (7 percent) and is four times as crowded (19 percent).

These factors combined bode well for investments in U.S. farm properties.

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