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.

Effective January 2018, PSI relaunched itself with an increased commitment to an evolving financial marketplace. The firm now targets its efforts on the increasing investment demand for passive investment products with an emphasis on thematic theme indexes. PSI remains true to its core farmland strategy but now seeks to broaden its application across the financial marketplace. Index design will now allow for more customized ETFs and OTC constructions. All will still be replicable and offer smart beta possibilities.

Index methodology is always under review for optimization enhancements. We constantly seek improvements that better serve the needs of the investment community. With the increasing availability of data, a geographical expansion of indexes is planned to support new regions. PSI indexes are acknowledged as the only transactional indexes acting as the barometer to spot 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 Q2, 2017 PSI released AccuAcre® beta. The software package supports PSIs indexes, putting first-its-kind farmland analytics at the fingertips of the investment and agricultural communities. The app’s beta model is now being tailored to better accommodate investor preferences and will be reintroduced later in 2018.

AccuAcre will support all PSI indexes with cutting edge analytics and machine learning trading strategies. Performance, historical relations, relative value analysis vs. ETFs, commodities, and investments can all be viewed. The app will allow users to make better informed investment decisions.

PSI constructs indexes for the investment needs of today and for a future with increased volatility. Investment products and risk management tools readily available in other commodities are now being sought for farmland. Sound investment decisions can be better made with adequate analytics supporting the choices.

PSI indexes are diligently constructed with the needed safeguards required for exchange traded and OTC products. PSI focuses on responsible index designs that maintain market integrity and preserve the cash marketplace as the determinant for valuations. Safe derivative development can occur with architecturally sound indexes. The development of investment products derived from Peak Soil’s indexes bring farmland to the investment mainstream as a more open, efficient market.

The company is responding to the changing investment preferences in the financial sector. 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 “financializing farmland™”.