Gladstone Land buys three farms to raise blueberries

Three farms in Van Buren County, near South Haven, have been purchased by Gladstone Land. They will be used to grow blueberries.

Gladstone Land entered into a five-year lease with one five-year option to extend with True Blue Farms Inc. These three newly purchased farms are near another farm Gladstone Land owns in the region.

Gladstone Land acquires farmland that it then rents to corporate and independent farmers. Farmers maintain the property while paying rent to Gladstone Land.

The company offers several options in its dealings. It offers a leaseback transaction that allows farmers to free up capital to pay down existing indebtedness, grow their farming operations, retire or use the funds for other business enterprises. It also buys land from those who do not farm the land, allowing them to stay with a long-term lease. It's third option is for those who want to farm the land but not own it. Gladstone Land acquires the land and rents it to the farmer.

The company has farmland in California, Florida, Michigan, and Oregon. The property it owns has an appraised value of $87 million.  

"We are pleased to acquire three more farms in southwestern Michigan, one of the premier growing regions for fruits and vegetables in the United States," says Bill Frisbie, Director, Real Estate, of the investment adviser to the Company. "In addition, we are excited to partner with an excellent farm operator and further diversify our tenant base. We now own 18 farms with 2,274 acres of leased land that are farmed for a variety of crops, including strawberries, lettuce, cabbage, radicchio, cantaloupes, watermelons, okra, peas, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, raspberries and blueberries."

Gladstone Land currently focuses on annual row crop farmland, as well as farmland that grows permanent crops--fruit and nut orchards and grapes--and will, in the future, look at farmland that also grows commodity crops--wheat, corn and rice.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Gladstone Land
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