The New Farmland Trend: Farms As Investments

City Dwellers Plow Money Into Farmland

Investors who might not know a tractor from a silo are hiring farmers to do their bidding.

MALVERN, Iowa — In 32 years of farming, Roger Wyant has learned how to judge a piece of ground. And he judged this one to be a lost cause.

It was a rugged 100 acres, all rough, steep hills overgrown with wild grass. Wyant figured that was how it should stay. But the Florida businessman who owned the pasture insisted that it be tamed, turned into neat rows of money-making corn. So Wyant gave it a go.

He ended up with a crop of thistles.

"I tried to reason with him," Wyant said, "but it was his land."

That’s a refrain heard more and more these days across the heartland.

By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer

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