Agriculture Investing

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Written By
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Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.

As the global population grows, the demand for food continues to rise in conjunction.

Investing in agriculture offers a unique opportunity to capitalize on this demand, while also supporting a sustainable and vital industry.

In other articles, we also discussed agriculture as a way to add commodities exposure to a portfolio, which can serve as a diversification asset and store of value.

Moreover, agriculture is less growth-sensitive than other commodities like energy.

In this article, we will explore the various ways to invest in agriculture, the benefits of these investments, and the best agriculture-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to consider for your portfolio.


Key Takeaways – Agriculture Investing

  • The global population growth drives increased demand for food, making agriculture a potentially attractive investment opportunity.
  • Agriculture investments offer diversification, potential long-term growth, inflation hedging, and support for sustainable practices.
  • Investors can access the agriculture sector through direct ownership, publicly traded companies, commodities, or mutual funds/ETFs focused on agriculture.


Ways to Invest in Agriculture

Direct ownership

One way to invest in agriculture is by purchasing farmland or agricultural properties directly.

This allows you to become an owner-operator or lease the land to farmers.

As a landowner, you can benefit from the appreciation of the property value and potential net rental income.

Publicly traded companies

Another way to invest in agriculture is through publicly traded companies involved in the sector.

This can include companies involved in farming, processing, distribution, and agricultural technology.

Investing in individual stocks allows you to handpick companies that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance.


Investing in agricultural commodities, such as crops and livestock, can also provide exposure to the sector.

These investments can be made through futures contracts or exchange-traded products (ETPs) that track the performance of underlying commodities.

Mutual funds and ETFs

For a more diversified approach, investors can consider mutual funds or ETFs that focus on the agriculture sector.

These funds provide exposure to a range of companies and sub-sectors within the industry, reducing the risks associated with individual stock picks.


Benefits of Investing in Agriculture


Investing in agriculture can provide diversification benefits to your overall portfolio.

The sector often exhibits low correlation with traditional asset classes, such as stocks and bonds, which can help reduce overall portfolio risk.

Growing demand

With a rising global population and increasing demand for food, the agriculture sector is poised to experience significant growth.

This presents a long-term investment opportunity for those looking to capitalize on this trend.

Inflation hedge / Store of value

Agriculture investments can provide a hedge against inflation.

As the cost of living increases, the value of farmland, commodities, and other agricultural assets are likely to rise as well.

Sustainable investing

By investing in agriculture, you can support environmentally friendly practices and contribute to global food security.

This can be particularly appealing for investors interested in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations.


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Best Agriculture ETFs

Invesco DB Agriculture Fund (DBA)

DBA is a well-known ETF providing exposure to a diverse basket of agricultural commodity futures contracts.

This fund covers a wide range of commodities, including livestock, grains (e.g., wheat), and soft commodities (e.g., sugar, cocoa).

VanEck Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO)

MOO is an ETF that invests in global agribusiness companies involved in various aspects of the agriculture industry, such as agricultural chemicals, equipment, and services.

This fund provides exposure to the growth of the broader agriculture sector.

iShares Global Agriculture Index ETF (COW)

COW is an ETF that seeks to track the performance of the S&P Global Agribusiness Index.

This fund offers diversified exposure to agribusiness companies around the world, spanning various sub-sectors and market capitalizations.


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FAQs – Agriculture Investing

How can I assess the risk associated with investing in agriculture?

Like any investment, agriculture carries its own set of risks.

To assess these risks, consider factors such as market volatility, weather patterns, geopolitical issues, and changing consumer preferences.

Diversifying your investments within the agriculture sector and across different asset classes can help mitigate some of these risks.

How does investing in agriculture contribute to sustainable practices?

By investing in agriculture, you can support companies that focus on environmentally friendly practices, such as sustainable farming, water conservation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

You can also choose to invest in funds or companies that prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria to ensure your investments align with your values.

Can I invest in agriculture through a retirement account, like an IRA or 401(k)?

Yes, you can invest in agriculture through a retirement account by choosing mutual funds, ETFs, or individual stocks that focus on the sector.

Make sure to consult with a financial advisor to ensure your investments align with your long-term retirement goals and risk tolerance.

What are some potential challenges facing the agriculture industry in the coming years?

Some challenges the agriculture sector may face include environmental concerns, water scarcity, land degradation, and evolving government policies.

Additionally, the sector must adapt to changing consumer preferences, such as the increasing demand for organic and plant-based foods.

Investors will need to be aware of these challenges and consider how they might impact their investments in agriculture.

How do I determine which agriculture ETF is right for my investment goals?

To determine the best agriculture ETF for your investment goals, consider factors such as the fund’s underlying index, expense ratio, historical performance, and holdings.

It’s also essential to consider your investment timeline, risk tolerance, and how the ETF fits within your overall portfolio.

Are there any tax implications when investing in agriculture?

Tax implications can vary depending on the type of agriculture investment.

For example, direct ownership of farmland may be subject to property taxes, while income from renting farmland could be taxed as rental income.

Investing in stocks, mutual funds, or ETFs may also have tax implications, such as capital gains tax or dividend income tax.

Consulting with a tax professional can help you understand the tax implications of your specific investments.



Investing in agriculture presents a unique opportunity to diversify your portfolio and capitalize on the growing demand for food.

Whether through direct ownership, individual stocks, commodities, or ETFs, there are many ways to gain exposure to this vital sector.