Farming is big business and business, along with related exchange traded fund (ETF), may be booming. Be it here in the United States or overseas, the agriculture sector is finding more avenues of investment.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new study indicating farmers and ranchers could potentially earn billions with the passage of the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009, According to Crookstone Daily Times.

Though farmers and ranchers may see a small increase in operational costs because of climate change legislation, the USDA calculated that farmers and ranchers could earn an additional $100 million annually by 2012. In the long term, the agriculture sector could generate an additional $20 billion from carbon reducing measures by 2040.

G8 leaders want a code of conduct for international agricultural investments in less developed nations, reports Stephen Johnston for Filing Service Canada. Proponents of foreign investment into agriculture say they are providing new seeds, technology and capital to an under-invested sector.

Since 2006, 15-20 million hectares of land were sold or are under negotiations for sale to foreign investors. Foreign direct investment in the sector was around $7.6 billion in 2006. Middle Eastern and Asian countries are worried about food security and have been purchasing farmland overseas in an attempt to protect themselves from high food prices.

  • PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA): down 4.5% year-to-date


  • Market Vectors Agribusiness (MOO): up 34.7% year-to-date


For more information on agriculture, visit our agriculture category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.