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No Risk Ecuador Farming

Are you interested in no risk Ecuador farming?

We have helped readers with many Ecuador farms.  This is a tomato farm we took readers to see.

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We were told that this farm generates $25,000 a year of income… an excellent addition to one’s Ecuador retirement plan.

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Here is a great Ecuador avocado farm readers viewed.

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We were told they will offer a $50,000 a year income after two years.

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On a previous Ecuador real estate tour we looked at a small farm that included a thousand peach trees that created real estate income. The peaches were sold to the armed forces and a super market chain. Here is the house and…

The orchard with wonderful views of Ibarra in the distance.

Merri and I love the enjoyment and the health benefits of living on our farm but sorry… there is no such thing as no risk farming… in Ecuador or anywhere.

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Merri and I own a farm in North Carolina and this orange grove below in Florida so we know there is no such thing as no risk farming.

A reader recently sent me this note.  Gary, is it true one can invest like a share holder in this agriculture business if one knows nothing about the business? Another words invest, sit back and reap the rewards?  I am interested because I trust your judgement in business people to have honest integrity. Will be waiting to here from you .  Thank you.

My reply:  I am a great believer in the future potential of agriculture and there are many ways to participate in farming investments.  One way is to invest in shares of a big ag company.

Take Tejon Land Company (symbol TRC on the NYSE) as an example.

Business.yahoo.com summarizes this company when it says:

Tejon ranch co

Here is Tejon’s share price chart from the same site.

tejon chart

The Tejon shares have shown a steady rose… but the up and down nature shows that there is plenty of volatility in agricultural shares.

Falling share and real estate prices may have kept the share price down but the company has 270,000 acres of land… a great deal of it is in agriculture that creates intrinsic and somewhat hidden value.

Tejon Ranch was founded in 1843 as a Mexican land grant. The shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange as NYSE: TRC.

In the decades that followed, the ranch grew in size as additional land grants were purchased by Tejon’s founder, General Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a historic figure in early California.

Today, Tejon is a diversified real estate development and agricultural company whose principal asset is that 270,000-acre land holding located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 25 miles south of Bakersfield.

The company generates operating revenue from land entitlement and development, commercial leases, marketing of real estate projects, oil and mineral production, utility easements, recreational activities, and filming locations. Tejon also generates revenue from farming almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and wine grapes.

Another way to invest in agriculture is to own your own farm and have it managed.

Merri and I do this second alternative. We have an orange grove and know nothing about farming it.  We have a grove manager who does all the work and so far have enjoyed a nice profit each year.  The management company has a long history and I have not had a problem with them.

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Orange gold. When the crop is good and prices are high… farming profits can be impressive.

All agriculture does have risk… weather…  commodity gluts or price problems in markets, disease… drought… any of these can create loss.

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Here is one of the photos I took when during our first two years of grove ownership we sweated (or rather shivered) through two record long freezes.  The crops could have been ruined and worse the trees killed.  We irrigated regularly and were lucky… but that does not mean there was no risk.  In the late 1800s over 90% of Florida’s orange trees were killed in a sudden and severe cold snap.

One has to be sure that there is a good manager. The less one knows about the manager and about farming the greater the risk.

I assume you are asking about the Ecuador farm management program offered by Jean Marie Butterlin.   We do not participate in the farm program by the way and are not involved in any way financially so we have no agenda to promote this other than to show our readers ways they can earn income in Ecuador. We have worked with Jean Marie for a number of years and have found him efficient, honest, honorable and responsive in all our dealings.  We enjoyed our association enough to sponsor his Ecuador businesses and he heads Ateam Ecuador.  We love Ecuador.  We like farming. We trust Jean Marie so our belief is that his will be a good honest program… but no one, especially in this day and age, just “invests, sits back and reaps the rewards” in any investment.  There are bugs, beetles, rains, blights, scale, competition and a host of obstacles to hurdle to make a profit.  Agriculture may be one of the most fickle businesses of all… though my experience is it is also one of the most exciting.  There is some miracle… a thrill we feel watching those crops grow… like a child.

Whatever investment you make… look at those you work with carefully and always deal with them in a businesslike way.

The third way is to make farming a lifestyle.  This is as much a lifestyle decision as it is an investment.
This is why we have shown many farms on agricultural tours.   Take, for example, this Swiss cheese business that we toured.

Here are Merri and me leading the group in. Imagine how living in this environment could bring balance… reduce stress and enhance health.

CHEESE FACTORY

Here is the quaint house (a modified Swiss chalet!) where you would live.

CHEESE FACTORY

Plus everything here is organic…including the cheese.

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One delegate who grew up on a dairy said these were the healthiest dairy cattle he had ever seen.

CHEESE FACTORY

Plus the Swiss equipment was perfect.

CHEESE FACTORY

I am not sure this dairy ever sold. The price was quite high.  However we have shown readers an avocado farm… and organic tomato operation and once a wonderful peach grove.

I am told that small farms especially are selling really quickly now.

Farming is the perfect type of opportunity for someone who has a passion for farming, food production and wants to live that lifestyle.

At our recent Quantum Thinking + Investing and Business seminar, we ended with these two slides that are relevant to farming and investment risk.

Slide #1: We know less than we think we do…that’s OK.

#1: Listen to those who disagree to expand horizons.
#2: Truth is not created by repletion of an error.
#3: Opt for certainty, you will die anonymously.
#4: Don’t care too much about daily volatility.
#5: Don’t care too little about strategy.
#6: Don’t count on extraordinary returns.
#7: Do not underexpose (don’t make too many short term decisions and not enough long term decisions) yourself for the long term.

Slide #2:  Risk is Our Partner

#1: Embrace it
#2: Adapt
#3: Look for Contrasts & Trends
#4: Look for Value
#5: Invest in What You Know
#6: Have Fun
#7: Have Options!

Agricultural investments have the advantage of overall low real estate mixed with extra price potential due to rising and food prices.  Though agricultural investments have risks… there are huge lifestyle benefits and extra profit potential now.

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Gary

Ecuador offers special agricultural benefits now.

Manabi Ecuador Agri Business Expedition

Here is an update on Jean Marie Butterlin’s Manabi Ecuador agriculture/business expedition.

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The Manabi Ecuador Agri Expendition will be in 4 wheel drive SUVs

This is the second farm outlined in our Agri business series. See the first farm at “Agricultural Tour“.

The Manabi Agri Business Expedition will show many farms… small… large… and some that can be divided.

Here are the first three farms (Jean Marie will be sending more) to be seen:

#1: Big Ecuador farm!  Here is a 1,000 acre farm that covers an entire enclosed valley.  550 acres are farmland.

This farm has water and computerized irrigation. 

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Only part has ever been farmed. The soil is very rich.  Last year 14 acres alone produced 25 tons of papayas per week.

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This property has a beautiful hacienda with a little fruit garden that includes 48 species of tress from cashew trees to coconut, citrus mango, etc….

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Cashew.

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Cashew fruit.

This property can be divided into smaller lots, 60 to 100 acres each.   There is a  private 4.5 mile road that runs through the valley. 

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There are also possibilities in the eco-tourism for the part that is hilly where you can see Howler monkeys, many species of birds.

Ideal for growing balsa wood, cashew trees as examples.  Our agri-engineers are thinking outside the box…cashew tree, especially organic, brings one of the highest incomes per acre of all.   Importers in California pay up to $7,000 per ton for dried, organic cashews.   Not many Ecuador farmers know about growing cashews in Manabi where the climate is close to optimal for some of the species. Cashew trees start producing in the 4th year and are good cash flow producing trees as is balsa wood.   Balsa trees take only 4 to 5 years to reach maturity.

There is a big demand for organic produce and we have met recently with US clients who are eager to buy exotic organic fruits from Ecuador.

This valley has easy access to a very good asphalt road and is only 1hour and 30 minutes from the port of Manta.

#2: 250 acres farm in Manabi with year round water, river and very rainy area. This farm is ideal for papaya and mango, with an off season watermelon crop.

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Papaya.

This farm can also be divided in 3 to 5 lots and has a good road and easy access.

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Hacienda.

#3: 90 acre farm close to Canoa with water.  Ideal for cattle or fruits.  This farm can also be divided.

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Farm house front porch.

There is also good opportunity for Biodiesel crops in the dryer areas with pinon or a species of flaxseed. On the Manabi Agri Expedition we include farms best suited for these types of crops.

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The prices for all these properties; range between $800 and $1,500/acre; they are all dividable so no-one needs to take the whole property.         Jean Marie

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