Feliz Navidad! I have just returned from the farm and have joyful news to share. This week we hosted 48 children from our current staff of 22 workers and each child was presented a gift on behalf of the farm’s ownership. This event is very special for all of our staff, particularly because several staff members have multiple children and they cannot provide gifts to all of them. This year no child was left without a gift! Soccer balls, Barbie dolls, toy trucks, and much more. Nothing better than seeing a child smile at Christmas! Piñatas were busted open, farm manager Mauricio Posada joined in a game of pin the tail on the donkey, and bookkeeper Olga Herrera led us all in a local dance session that I’m not sure I have mastered yet, but I gave it a good try! Team morale is as high as ever and we are very happy to be ending the year on a great note!
The coconut trees are in full stride and growing fast! Our final germination rate came in right at 81% from the initial 11,000 seeds purchased, which is in line with our original projections. With most of the trees already in bags, we are now in the selection process. It is important to remove any trees that look weak during the first transition phase from the sand beds to the bags. It is amazing to note the similarities that trees have to human beings. Only the strong will survive! If the trees are weak during this stage, they will most certainly be weak in the future. So far, we have removed close to 5% of the germinated trees and we are anticipating removing another 5%, which should net around 8,000 winners! The weak trees aren’t wasted, as they will be used in the production of compost and provide many rich nutrients for the future of the fertilization process.
The selected trees look fantastic and some are already more than three feet tall in just 90 days. This a great sign of how well these plants have adapted to the climate and environmental conditions.
November and December have been about preparing the farm for the upcoming dry season and full-scale development of the coconut plantation and water reserve projects.
We will be preparing the transformation from grazing land to coconut plantation during the months of January and February. First, we have to break up the soil with a tractor pulled tiller. We will then be planting several nitrogen fixing plants in rows between the future coconut trees. The nitrogen fixation is essential to the success of the coconut trees. Once the nitrogen fixing plants have taken root, we will transplant the coconuts from their sheltered environment in the nursery into pre-dug holes in the fields. The first 8,000 holes will be dug during the months of February and March with the first trees scheduled to be transplanted in late March. The transplanting process needs to be done near the wet season to ensure that the trees receive adequate watering.
In January, we will also be working on a new design for the equipment storage facility as well as a new employee canteen and bathrooms. Likewise, on the schedule during January/February is the new water reserve project. We will be constructing a gravity flow water reserve, which will quadruple the amount of water at the farm. This water reserve will also serve as the primary irrigation source for coconuts and it will take approximately three years for the 12-meter deep reservoir to fill.
The equipment needed to finalize the coconut plantation was purchased and almost all of it has been delivered, including a new tractor, compost mixer, auger (tree hole digger), hydraulic trailer, and commercial tiller. All of this equipment is essential to preparing the property for new plantings.
As the wet season winds down, we are also shrinking the herd size for the month of January. We plan to sell approximately 650-700 head of cattle at the end of December while prices are still hovering around 4100-4200 COP per kilo. Historically, mid-January is when the prices begin to adjust for the dry season. Our strategy is to begin buying in January/February at anticipated lower kilo pricing. This year we expect cattle prices to drop 10% during the months of January and February.
The feedlot is ready! As I mentioned in my August update, we began planting several hectares of corn and soy for a feedlot operation to supplement the cattle diet during the dry season. Today, I am happy to report that we harvested 80 tons of feed, which will allow us to keep more animals at the farm during the dry period. The ROR on this sector of the project has not been determined yet; however, we anticipate the investment will yield significant weight gains during the dry season and allow us to purchase more animals at low season prices.
Dividend Distribution Projections
As expected, we are anticipating the first project dividend during the month of April. We will be banking the profits from December cattle sales and re-investing the principal during the dry season. Profits from December sales will be accrued and paired with the sales in late March-early April to be distributed as a dividend between late April and early May.
AgInvestor Application is now available!!!
We are very proud to announce that the AgInvestor app launched in early December. We have been working diligently with Apple and Google to make the app fully compatible and easily manageable for all Farmshares™ holders and prospective buyers.
Simply go the app store and search “AgInvestor app” or “Farmfolio” to download and setup your user account. If you are a Farmshares™ owner, your profile is already setup and your shares and activity will be visible when you login. For those looking to purchase shares, you will be able to reserve Farmshares™ online simply by clicking on a project and selecting a number of shares. You will receive a notification from our team that your PPM is ready for signature, then simply fund your account and your Farmshares™ will be issued! Please register for this!
The AgInvestor app is a simple way to keep up with what’s happening at the farm. We’re uploading pictures, transaction histories, and project completion dates for new developments. With the app now complete, we will begin work to finish the Farmshares™ exchange, which we hope will be ready by mid-2017.
Click the following link to download the app:
Whewww!!! We covered 10 cities over the last three months and we have had a tremendous response so far. In addition to selling out GPI during the first month on the road, we’ve had a strong response to GPII. Reservations are coming in weekly and we are looking to close out the offering early in 2017. We will be kicking off the 2017 capital raising tour at the Orlando money show. If you’re in or around the Orlando area come check us out between February 8-10th. We have also started conversations to prepare a European launch early next year. In January, we will have an update on this as well as several other plans.
These are all the updates we have for now. From all of us at Farmfolio, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!!!
J. Dax Cooke | CEO
www.farmfolio.net | +1 (888) 565-9941 – Ext (100)