About Us

Peak Soil® Indexes (PSI) in a cutting edge indexing boutique with a focus on farmland. Its stated goal is “democratizing farmland™ with responsible financial innovation”. PSI believes financialization can only occur with market accepted farmland indexes.

Farmland continues to gain institutional investment recognition. However, access is hampered by restrictions and difficulties. Physical ownership is a hands-on, challenging venture. The commodity lacks both liquidity and transparency and has no risk transference capabilities.

True financialization is more than an opaque marketplace where a few buyers and sellers meet. While tradable, farmland still lacks contemporary asset class traits. Asset class status is generally achieved with an assemblage of liquidity, transparency, mark-to-market capabilities, standardization, significant institutional involvement and main street participation. As an investment, farmland has yet to cross that threshold.

Rectifying the numerous investment hurdles and financializing the commodity starts with timely, accurate, structurally sound farmland indexes. PSI is at the forefront in this transformation, providing indexes with a defined purpose. Indexes that are verifiably legitimate, usable for derivative development and of the highest integrity. We utilize diverse data sources for the construction of a broad range of rigorously structured indexes.

The company introduced the “Peak Soil Iowa Farmland Value Index” (PSIFVI) in February 2015. The 30 day index, published weekly, provides a value for quantitatively defined average quality farmland. Paul Kanitra, Peak Soil Indexes founder applied years of bond market experience to develop a nominal CSR and DV01 concept. The index reflects price change within the marketplace, insulated from land quality variances.

Besides Iowa, PSI now publishes statewide indexes on Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois farmland. An “all county” and “select county’ index for is available for Minnesota. Taking into consideration the importance of irrigation and pasture in Nebraska, PSI posts index valuations for irrigated cropland, dry cropland and pasture land. In 2016 the company released its first international index on Saskatchewan farmland. PSI plans additional state releases in the future.

PSI is now in the process of designing two broad based commodity indexes. Included commodities and their weightings will be determined by factors differing from all other constructions. The indexes will allow for ETF constructions that incorporate land value aspects. The new PSI indexes are replicable and will offer something unique for commodity ETF investors.

Index design at PSI is always under review for optimization enhancements. We always give consideration to the ever increasing availability of data. We always seek ways to improve our indexes while allowing for a full array of derivative product use. PSI indexes are acknowledged as the only marketplace transactional indexes and recognized as the barometer to open-market farmland values.

PSI’s benchmark status was accomplished with a configuration exclusive to arms-length transactions. The firm believes that an index based on a survey of prices is highly suspect. Mr. Kanitra has stated, “One only needs to look at the Libor scandal to see the ramifications of subjective or survey pricing. Libor is one of the most important and widely used interest rate estimates in the financial market. Despite the pedigree of the institutions providing Libor quotes to the British Bankers’ Association and oversight by the Financial Services Authority, abuses took place for years. Some quotes were systematically rigged to manipulate fixings. Regulatory authorities and investors alike eventually called for a new or revised benchmark, anchored to observable marketplace transactions.”

In response to research in early 2016, a new index platform was embraced. The refreshed construction allows for the use of non use of arms-length transactions. The redesigned technique referred to as SALT™ (Strategic Arms Length Transactions). SALT™ greatly improved operating flexibilities while increasing protections. The practice also allows for expanded index development. All indexes now incorporate SALT™ architecture.

In support of our democratization goal, PSI evolved in Q2 2017 with the release of AccuAcre® beta. The analytical software puts at the fingertips of the investment community a sophisticated, first of their kind analytics for farmland investing.

AccuAcre will eventually support every PSI index release with cutting edge analytics. AccuAcre provides for our indexes what Bloomberg does for equities or fixed income products. Performance, historical relations, relative value and comparative value analysis vs. applicable commodities, and investments can be viewed. Our goal is to provide as much information as possible about our indexes and related components to allow for knowledgeable investing.

PSI index construction is currently focused on the modernizations occurring with farmland. In the near future, farmland will have derivative product tools similar to other commodities. PSI indexes are built with the needed safeguards and features required for exchange traded and OTC products. PSI design seeks to maintain market integrity with constructions that preserve the physical marketplace determining price. Safe derivative development can then occur with farmland becoming a fully functional commodity.

The company is responding to the needs of the financial and agricultural communities. Farmland is no longer just soil for agrarian purposes. It has grown to be part of the investment universe. Peak Soil® Indexes begins the process of “democratizing farmland™”.