Betting On Ag: My Questions

Farmer Brown here…

As you’re reading this I will be moderating a panel at the Agriculture 2.0 conference entitled “Betting on Ag”.  The panelists are:

Ejnar Knudsen, Passport Capital

Michael Underhill, Capital Innovations

Mary Law, Wake Forest University Endowment

Robert Keith, Beartooth Capital

I plan to blog about my insights from the show when all is said and done but I wanted to share the discussion topics and questions I plan to aim the panel toward.

They are as follows:

1.  To a large extent, agricultural commodity prices have been highly correlated with both other commodity prices and stock prices in recent years.  What would be your answer to someone who doesn’t see the benefits of playing agriculture specifically?

2.  US Farmland has been in a bull market for the last ten years, how much are the price increases for land being driven by financial players and speculators versus actual demand?

3.  With the end of thew Fed’s quantitative easing program coming in two months, could we speak to how susceptible both ag commodities and farmland might be to a rise in interest rates?  Or a dollar snapback?

4.  Between ETFs and ETNs we’re at a point where investors can use the public markets to get both general and highly specific exposure to ag.  What do you think is the biggest disconnect between private ag investing and public?

5.  Finally, every good panel ends with an outlook question: Can we leave everyone with a sense of where the ag trade is heading?  Is there one facet of the of the agriculture investment theme that you think represents the best bet?

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I’ll be reporting back to you guys on what we should be looking for in the ag theme based on what I learn here this week.  Stay tuned.