Farmland LP 2017 Impact Report

$21.4 Million Net Ecosystem Service Value Benefits Demonstrated Using Regenerative Agriculture at Scale 

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.
— President Dwight D. Eisenhower

In a USDA funded study, Earth Economics and the Delta Institute summarized the social and environmental impacts of Farmland LP’s two investment funds, Vital Farmland LP (Fund I) and Vital Farmland REIT, LLC (Fund II). Through these funds, Farmland LP purchases conventionally farmed land and introduces sustainable farmland management practices to generate competitive financial returns and achieve positive environmental and social impacts. 

Vital Farmland LP (Fund 1)

  • Ecosystem Service Value (ESV) generated from Fund I farmland under regenerative management since inception:$12.9 million

  • Total ESV damage if the farmland had been managed conventionally: ($8.5 million)

  • Net benefit from regenerative management as compared to conventional practices: $21.4 million, or a 44.2 percent gain on the purchase value

  • Net annual benefit per year: $4.6 million, averaging 7.3 percent gain per year during the study period

The results from this work illustrate the profound impact of our management practices on the ecosystem service value provided by our farms. For example, Fund I farmland under our management generated $12.9 million in ecosystem service value since inception – a significant benefit that accrues to the surrounding communities and environment. Under a conventional management practices, these same farms would have caused $-8.5 million in ecosystem harm since inception, resulting in a total $21.4 net ecosystem service value benefit from our management as compared to conventional practices. This benefit was generated on $85 million of farmland, and is on top of the 67% net financial gain in our fund – a true double-bottom line investment return.

Valuing the Ecosystem Service Benefits from Regenerative Agriculture Practices: Farmland LP 2017 Impact Report. Farmland LP. 2017.

Photo Credit: Mary Stephens

This study was completed with funding from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and technical services by Delta Institute.

Key Words: Ecosystem Service Valuation, Farming, Agriculture, USDA