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Harvest Returns Review

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1 Minute Review

Harvest Returns is an equity crowdfunding investment platform that connects accredited and non-accredited investors with farmers looking to raise capital. The focus of the fund is on urban farming and sustainable farming located in government-recognized opportunity zones.

Harvest Returns gives investors a diverse range of opportunities, including sustainable agriculture farms, hemp farms and hydroponic vertical farms. The management team comes from a variety of industries, including international development, IT and commercial real estate. Operations are centered in Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas.

Best For

  • Wide range of investment opportunities
  • Geographic diversity in investments
  • Breakthrough year in 2020 with over $5 million in capital raised

Pros

  • Accomplished management team with relevant experience in real estate
  • Growth — its website of 5,000 unique visitors per month
  • Investor access to visit the farms

Cons

  • Impact investing not always focused on maximizing profits
  • Nonaccredited investors who don’t have access to all deals

Why Harvest Returns Brokerage Over Others?  

Harvest Returns had a great 2020, raising more than $5 million for its agriculture clients and $2.5 million for cattle and sheep producers thus far. Is this enough to trust your money with Harvest Returns instead of its long list of agrifunding competitors? 

Let’s take a look at the reasons you might choose Harvest Returns over others in the industry:

  • Many categories of investment: Harvest Returns has enough projects on its platform to segment into categories like ag-tech, indoor agriculture, livestock, mixed, row crops, specialty crops and tree crops.
  • Impact investing: Investments on the Harvest Returns platform all advertise a positive social impact of some sort. The platform itself is geared toward helping small- and medium-sized farms who might otherwise be overlooked by the traditional funding process. Harvest Returns has quantified impact investing through its Sustainable Agriculture Opportunity Zone Fund.
  • Leadership: Harvest Returns is transparent about its core team.
  • Personal attention: You can visit the farms that you invest in.
  • Different investment vehicles: You can register as an individual, custodian or entity with multiple profiles. If you want to invest as a legal entity, you can do so as long as you meet the minimum requirements of the platform.

Brokerage Quick Summary 

Harvest Returns builds its platform on the notion that labor and capital are both moving out of agriculture. This is in stark contrast to the industry’s importance, which some experts claim will increase over the next 20 years. Farmland has proven to be a consistent investment over the past few decades, returning an average of 10% to 13% regardless of how the stock market was doing.

COVID and legislative uncertainty around stimulus are certainly causing its share of volatility. Agriculture has been consistent throughout, and Harvest Returns actually stands as a testament to the stability of the industry. In 2020, the platform raised $7.5 million for its projects, far above totals for previous years.

Harvest Returns Fees, Commissions, Margin Rates and Account Minimums

Harvest Returns’ minimum investment is $5,000, but only for certain projects. Nonaccredited investors have limited access. 

To have full access to all projects listed on Harvest Returns, you must be an accredited investor. There’s no option to invest on margin. Meeting accreditation means adherence to the following standards:

  • If you are an individual, you have had an annual income of not less than $200,000 for the current year and the 2 previous years. This minimum rises to $300,000 if you are investing as a married couple.
  • Your income must viably meet this threshold for the foreseeable future.
  • Alternatively, you meet the standard with a net worth of no less than $1 million excluding your primary place of residence.

You may join Harvest Returns as an accredited entity as well. Accredited entities include business investment companies, employee benefit plans, registered investment advisors, banks, trusts, insurance companies and charitable organizations. The minimum net worth for non-individual accreditation is higher than $1 million.

As an investor, you do not pay direct fees in order to invest unless you are investing using crypto. If you are using Bitcoin or an altcoin, you’ll pay a digital asset handling fee to Prime Trust.

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Harvest Returns Usability

Harvest Returns makes it easy to put your hands into any subsection of agriculture, something that may have been difficult for the average investor to solely do. It also improves the ability of small and medium-sized agribusiness to reach out to investors who may not know, understand or care where their food comes from. The pairing puts a new spotlight on promising initiatives like agriculture opportunity zones, sustainable farming and urban farming.

The website is well-developed with plenty of information on the opportunity in the agribusiness industry. It also has interesting pitches on each of the individual projects. Whether you’re looking to invest or looking for investors, you can quickly find your way to the information you need. The site is missing a real-time chat option, which many of its competitors have. 

Here are some of the most important features the site provides for new visitors:

  • Portal for producers: Harvest Returns has a straightforward process for agri-producers looking for funding. This year will bring a lot more business to the platform because Harvest Returns brought visitors and hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to Blackdirt Farms and Kentucky Fresh Harvest, among others.
  • Detailed descriptions on individual projects: You have to sign into the system to access project descriptions, but it may be worth the hassle for prospective investors. Even if you don’t invest immediately, you’ll learn a great deal about the kinds of projects that Harvest Returns deals in. You can create an account with a valid email.

Harvest Returns Education

The Harvest Returns website is a wealth of information about all agriculture. The blog is an especially solid resource that is updated regularly — around 2 posts per month. The topics have the same diverse range as the projects, so you can get a good introduction specifically on the stuff you are interested in.

There are also general guidebooks and FAQs on the site that you can start your journey with. Here is a short description of what you can find:

  • Guide to Investing in Agriculture: This page is basically a link farm that orders many of the site’s older blog posts. It does give context to much of the information, and you’ll have a great background for a conversation with management after reading.
  • Blogs: The articles are well-researched with good link profiles if you are interested in more information. 
  • FAQs: The FAQ answers important questions about who can invest and how to invest. If you are not a U.S. citizen or you want to invest through an individual retirement account (IRA), you’ll find your answers here.

Harvest Returns Customer Support

You can communicate with Harvest Returns in several ways:

  • Online form: The site lets you communicate through a simple online query form.
  • Phone: The Harvest Returns contact number is 844-673-8876.
  • Email: You can reach Harvest Returns through email at info@harvestreturns.com. 

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Harvest Returns Offerings

Harvest Returns currently has offerings in many different types of agriculture. All statistics are at the time of writing, and this list does not represent the full range of projects that are available to invest in.

  • Sustainable Agriculture Opportunity Zone Fund: This opportunity zone project has the ambition to raise $1 million. The estimated return is 10%-12% internal rate of return (IRR).
  • Cattle Notes 2 Kansas: This project was successfully funded and has an estimated return of 8.25% IRR.
  • Grassfed Cattle 2 Georgia: This project was successfully funded and has an estimated return of 8% ROI. Returns are paid out on a quarterly basis.
  • Hemp Farm New York: This hemp farm was fully funded and has an estimated return of 21%-39% IRR.
  • Hydroponic Produce Texas: This project was successfully funded and has an estimated return of 23% IRR.
  • Cocoa Farm 2 Ghana: This project was successfully funded and has an estimated return of 42% IRR.
  • Cattle Notes Kansas: This project is on its way to raising twice its goal and has an estimated return of 8.25% IRR.
  • Bamboo Farm Florida: This project was successfully funded and has an estimated return of 14% IRR.
  • Organic Hemp CBD Lab Colorado: This project was successfully funded and has an estimated return of 61% IRR.

Harvest Returns Stocks, ETFs and Mutual Funds 

Harvest Returns lets you invest through partner IRAs. They allow you to roll over funds from other IRAs or your 401(k) with no tax penalty. Your income and profits are tax deferred and become a part of your retirement savings.

Harvest Returns Mobile App

The Harvest Returns site is mobile-responsive but there is no mobile app.

Harvesting Your Investment – Overall

Harvest Returns is well on its way to becoming a leader in the agribusiness crowdfunding space with a great 2020. The website is solid, the press is positive and the leadership seems to be in touch with what investors are looking for. The company’s social media is vibrant and always seems to be reaching out to potential investors with value.

If you are looking for a platform to connect you with a wide variety of projects and investors, Harvest Returns is a great place to start. Whether you invest with the site or choose to invest elsewhere, you can certainly find a wealth of information that will inform your future decisions in the space.