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Farmland returns nearly 19% in 2012

The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries announced fourth-quarter and full-year farmland returns for 2012 on Tuesday. For the quarter, farmland returned 9.56%, comprising 5.27% appreciation and 4.29% income. NCREIF notes it was the highest quarterly return since 2006; it was also the highest annual return since 2006. The fourth quarter historically posts the highest returns because income returns spike due to the conclusion of the sale of crops for the year. Christopher Jay, incoming chairman of the NCREIF Farmland Committee and director of financial analysis with Prudential Agricultural Investments, said 2012 farmland performance "continues to show the strength of agriculture as an investment for institutional investors. The strength in demand for U.S. farm products, particularly in the export market, has helped fuel these returns."