SILVER SPRING, Md. — Mercaris, a data service company bringing market intelligence to sustainable agriculture, announced its new initiative — Mercoterra — at the 12th annual Land Investment Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Building on its current suite of solutions, Mercaris launched Mercoterra to compare the value of certified organic row crop farmland with conventional farmland, providing further insight and transparency into the organic industry.

Mercaris will conduct the Mercoterra initiative in partnership with Peoples Company and Midwestern BioAg. Together, the companies invite industry players to participate in the initial feasibility study. Participants will receive an exclusive white paper outlining the findings of certified organic farmland as an asset class. In addition, phase one participants will receive an entry invitation into phase two of the initiative.

“We are honored to partner with Mercaris, working to bring the Mercoterra initiative to life for the agricultural market,” said Ben Adolph, director of farmland sustainability at Midwestern BioAg. “Until now, there has been limited analysis surrounding the state of the organic market and more importantly, little insight has been shared with the sector in a way that enables organizations, farmers, banks and others to make informed choices. This important initiative will help break down the many barriers that stand in the way of organic farmland expansion.”

The first phase of the two-part initiative intends to compare certified organic farmland values to comparable conventional farmland values, hypothesizing that the monetary incentive (and risk) of certified organic crops includes increased land value, not just crop prices. With confirmation of this hypothesis, phase two of the Mercoterra initiative will launch the development and application of a digital tool that helps stakeholders understand the monetary value of certified organic farmland.

“Recognized as a world-class conference and a top gathering place for our nation’s agricultural leaders, it is with great excitement that we commence phase one of the Mercoterra initiative at the Land Investment Expo,” said Jessie Bovay, director of business development at Mercaris. “Through this process, our entire agricultural network will gain a monetary understanding of U.S. organic farmland — helping make the essential decisions needed for the future growth of our market.” 

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