Farmland prices in the U.S. Midwest corn belt could be a “bubble,” while growing areas in the Great Plains and Mississippi River Delta provide better returns, says Detlef Schoen, managing partner at Aquila Capital.

New seed varieties and warmer temperatures are allowing farmers to plant corn and soybeans in “peripheral” areas in North America, including regions further north and west of the Midwest, Schoen says.

The USDA estimates that domestic producers will harvest a record 14.79 billion bu. of corn this year.

“The corn belt and soybean belt are moving north at incredible speeds, moving into the Great Plains, into Nebraska, Montana and the Dakotas,” Schoen says. “In five years I think you’ll have more soybeans in that country, where today you just have sunflowers and wheat, so that will lift your returns per acre enormously.”

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