US bean farmers seek Brazil farmland deals

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Phil Corzine's soy farm in the state of Toncantin

Reuters | 17/06/2010

Kansas City, June 16 -- In a small-town spin on a global agricultural investment trend, a group of U.S. Midwest soybean farmers has issued a private placement this month to raise capital for farmland acquisitions in Brazil.

The group, called South American Soy LLC, is seeking to raise close to $1 million to expand on land holdings the farmer group has been building over the last few years, said Phil Corzine, an Illinois soybean farmer who is partnering with other farmers and outside investors for the venture late on Tuesday.

The group, which so far has accumulated more than 3,600 acres in Brazil, is offering $500,000 in equity and $450,000 in three-year 7 percent convertible debentures to help finance land acquisition and development and construction of grain storage facilities.

"Our business model is basically to take some investment from the United States, buy land and develop it and take advantage of rising land appreciation values," said Corzine, who is is managing the offering from his soybean farm in Assumption, Illinois.

Longtime Illinois soybean farmer Phil Corzine (right) at his 3,500-acre farm in central Brazil.

The group of farmer investors has so far purchased and developed three farms in Brazil, producing corn and rice along with soybeans.

Corzine said Brazilian land has so far proven "extremely cheap" though prices are rapidly on the rise.

Investors are increasingly snapping up agricultural investments in South America, Africa and elsewhere as demand for food and crop-based fuels is forecast to rise sharply as world population soars.
Original source: Reuters
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