Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2023
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally-accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may materially differ from these estimates.
Real Estate and Lease Intangibles
Our investments in real estate consist of farmland, improvements made to the farmland (consisting primarily of irrigation and drainage systems and buildings), and permanent plantings acquired in connection with certain land purchases (consisting primarily of almond and pistachio trees, blueberry bushes, and wine vineyards). We record investments in real estate at cost and generally capitalize improvements and replacements when they extend the useful life or improve the efficiency of the asset. We expense costs of routine repairs and maintenance as such costs are incurred. We generally compute depreciation using the
straight-line method over the shorter of the estimated useful life or 50 years for buildings, improvements, and permanent plantings, and the shorter of the estimated useful life or 5 to 20 years for equipment and fixtures.
Certain of our acquisitions involve sale-leaseback transactions with newly-originated leases, and other of our acquisitions involve the acquisition of farmland that was already being operated as rental property, in which case we will typically assume the lease in place at the time of acquisition. Most of our acquisitions, including those with a prior leasing history, are generally treated as asset acquisitions under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 805, “Business Combinations” (“ASC 805”).
ASC 805 requires that the purchase price of real estate be allocated to (i) the tangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed (typically consisting of land, buildings, improvements, permanent plantings, and long-term debt) and, if applicable, (ii) any identifiable intangible assets and liabilities (typically consisting of in-place lease values, lease origination costs, the values of above- and below-market leases, and tenant relationships), based in each case on their fair values. In addition, all acquisition-related costs (other than legal costs incurred directly related to either originating new leases we execute upon acquisition or reviewing in-place leases we assumed upon acquisition) are capitalized and included as part of the fair value allocation of the identifiable tangible and intangible assets acquired or liabilities assumed.
Management’s estimates of fair value are made using methods similar to those used by independent appraisers, such as a sales comparison approach, a cost approach, and either an income capitalization approach or discounted cash flow analysis. Factors considered by management in its analysis include an estimate of carrying costs during hypothetical, expected lease-up periods, taking into consideration current market conditions and costs to execute similar leases. We also consider information obtained about each property as a result of our pre-acquisition due diligence, marketing, and leasing activities in estimating the fair value of the tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed. In estimating carrying costs, management also includes lost reimbursement of real estate taxes, insurance, and certain other operating expenses, as well as estimates of lost rental income at market rates during the hypothetical, expected lease-up periods, which typically range from 1 to 24 months, depending on specific local market conditions. Management also estimates costs to execute similar leases, including leasing commissions, legal fees, and other related expenses, to the extent that such costs are not already incurred in connection with a new lease origination as part of the transaction. While management believes these estimates to be reasonable based on the information available at the time of acquisition, the purchase price allocation may be adjusted if management obtains more information regarding the valuations of the assets acquired or liabilities assumed.
We allocate the purchase price to the fair value of the tangible assets and liabilities of an acquired property by valuing the property as if it were vacant. The “as-if-vacant” value is allocated to land, buildings, improvements, and permanent plantings, based on management’s determination of the relative fair values of such assets and liabilities as of the date of acquisition.
We record above- and below-market lease values for acquired properties based on the present value (using a discount rate that reflects the risks associated with the leases acquired) of the difference between (i) the contractual amounts to be paid pursuant to the in-place lease agreements, and (ii) management’s estimate of fair market lease rates for the corresponding in-place leases, measured over a period equal to the remaining, non-cancelable term of the lease. When determining the non-cancelable term of the lease, we evaluate whether fixed-rate or below-market renewal options, if any, should be included. The fair value of capitalized above-market lease values, included as part of Other assets in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets, is amortized as a reduction of rental income on a straight-line basis over the remaining, non-cancelable terms of the respective leases. The fair value of capitalized below-market lease values, included as part of Other liabilities in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets, is amortized as an increase to rental income on a straight-line basis over the remaining, non-cancelable terms of the respective leases, including that of any fixed-price or below-market renewal options.
The value of the remaining intangible assets acquired, which consists of in-place lease values, lease origination costs, and tenant relationship values, are determined based on management’s evaluation of the specific characteristics of each tenant’s lease and our overall relationship with that respective tenant. Characteristics to be considered by management in allocating these values include the nature and extent of our existing business relationships with the tenant, prospects for developing additional business with the tenant, the tenant’s credit quality, and our expectations of lease renewals (including those existing under the terms of the current lease agreement), among other factors.
The value of in-place leases and certain lease origination costs (if any) are amortized to amortization expense on a straight-line basis over the remaining, non-cancelable terms of the respective leases. The value of tenant relationship intangibles, which is the benefit to us resulting from the likelihood of an existing tenant renewing its lease at the existing property or entering into a lease at a different property we own, is amortized to amortization expense over the remaining lease term and any anticipated renewal periods in the respective leases.
Should a tenant terminate its lease, the unamortized portion of the above intangible assets or liabilities would be charged to the appropriate income or expense account.
Total consideration for acquisitions may include a combination of cash and equity securities, such as OP Units. When OP Units are issued in connection with acquisitions, we determine the fair value of the OP Units issued based on the number of units issued multiplied by the closing price of the Company’s common stock on the date of acquisition.
Real Estate Impairment Evaluation
We account for the impairment of our real estate assets in accordance with ASC 360, “Property, Plant, and Equipment” (“ASC 360”), which requires us to periodically review the carrying value of each property to determine whether indicators of impairment exist or if depreciation periods should be modified. In determining if impairment exists, we consider such indicators which may include, but are not limited to, deteriorating market conditions, declines in a property’s operating performance due to near-term lease maturities or vacancy rates, environmental damage, including due to natural disasters or tenant neglect, legal concerns, and whether our hold period has shortened. If circumstances support the possibility of impairment, we prepare a projection of the total undiscounted future cash flows of the specific property (without interest charges), including net proceeds from disposition, if any, and compare them to the net book value of the property to determine whether the carrying value of the property is recoverable. In preparing the projection of undiscounted future cash flows, we estimate cap rates, rental rates, and property values, as applicable, using information that we obtain from market data and other comparable sources, such as recent sales data from comparable properties and broker quotes, and apply the undiscounted cash flows to our expected holding period. If impairment is indicated, the carrying value of the property is written down to its estimated fair value based on our best estimate of the property’s discounted future cash flows using market-derived terms, such as cap rates, discount rates, and rental rates applied to our expected hold period.
Using the methodology discussed above, we evaluated our entire portfolio for any impairment indicators and performed an impairment analysis on select properties that had an indication of impairment. As of December 31, 2023, and December 31, 2022, we concluded that none of our properties were impaired. There have been no impairments recognized on our real estate assets since our inception. We will continue to monitor our portfolio for any other indicators of impairment.
Held-for-Sale Property
For properties classified as held-for-sale, we cease depreciating and amortizing the property and related intangible assets and value the property at the lower of depreciated and amortized cost or fair value, less costs to dispose. If the sale meets the definition of discontinued operations, we present the related assets, liabilities, and results of operations that have been sold (or that otherwise qualify as held-for-sale) as discontinued operations in all periods. The definition of discontinued operations is met if the disposal of a component or group of components either meets the held-for-sale criteria or is disposed of and also represents a strategic shift that has (or will have) a major effect on our operations and financial results. If classified as such, the components of the property’s net income (loss) that are reflected as discontinued operations include operating results, depreciation, amortization, and interest expense.
When properties are considered held-for-sale, but do not qualify as a discontinued operation, we present such assets and liabilities as held for sale on the consolidated balance sheet in all periods that the related assets and liabilities meet the held-for-sale criteria under ASC 360. Components of the held-for-sale property’s net income (loss) are recorded within continuing operations on the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income.
Tenant Improvements
From time to time, our tenants may pay for improvements on certain of our properties with the ownership of the improvements remaining with us, in which case we will record the cost of such improvements as an asset (tenant-funded improvements, included within Investments in real estate, net), along with a corresponding liability (deferred rent liability, included within Other liabilities, net) on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. When we are determined to be the owner of the tenant-funded improvements, such improvements will be depreciated over the useful life in accordance with our depreciation policy noted above, and the related deferred rent liability will be amortized as an addition to rental income over the remaining term of the existing lease in place. If the tenant is determined to be the owner of a tenant improvement funded by us, such amounts are treated as a lease incentive and amortized as a reduction of rental income over the remaining term of the existing lease in place.
In determining whether the tenant or the Company is the owner of such improvements, several factors will be considered, including, but not limited to: (i) whether the improvement’s useful life is greater than the remaining lease term plus any reasonably certain renewal options; (ii) whether the lease allows the tenant to remove the improvements; (iii) whether the improvement is unique to the tenant or useful to subsequent tenants; (iv) whether the improvement adds value to the property or increases the lifespan of the property; and (v) whether the tenant was provided a form of reimbursement or incentive concerning the improvement. The determination of who owns the improvements can be subject to significant judgment.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
We consider cash equivalents to be all short-term, highly-liquid investments that are both readily convertible to cash and have a maturity of three months or less at the time of purchase, except that any such investments purchased with funds held in escrow or similar accounts are classified as restricted cash. Items classified as cash equivalents include money-market deposit accounts. Our cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2023 and 2022 were held in the custody of one financial institution (which management believes to be financially sound and with minimal credit risk), and our balance at times may exceed federally-insurable limits. We did not have any restricted cash or restricted cash equivalents as of December 31, 2023 or 2022.
Debt Issuance Costs
Debt issuance costs consist of costs incurred to obtain debt financing, including legal fees, origination fees, and administrative fees. Costs associated with our long-term borrowings and term preferred stock securities required to be recorded net of the respective debt for GAAP purposes are deferred and amortized over the terms of the respective financings using the straight-line method, which approximates the effective interest method. In the case of our lines of credit, the straight-line method is used due to the revolving nature of the financing instrument. Upon early extinguishment of any borrowings, the unamortized portion of the related deferred financing costs will be immediately charged to expense. In addition, in accordance with ASC 470, “Debt” (“ASC 470”), when a financing arrangement is amended so that the only material change is an increase in the borrowing capacity, the unamortized deferred financing costs from the prior arrangement are amortized over the term of the new arrangement. During the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021, we recorded approximately $1.1 million, $1.1 million, and $1.2 million, respectively, of total amortization expense related to debt issuance costs.
Deferred Offering Costs
We account for offering costs in accordance with SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin Topic 5.A., which states that incremental offering costs directly attributable to a proposed or actual offering of securities may be deferred and charged against the gross proceeds of such offering. Accordingly, costs incurred related to our ongoing equity offerings are included in Other assets, net on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets and are ratably applied to the cost of equity as the related securities are issued. If an equity offering is subsequently terminated, the remaining, unallocated portion of the related deferred offering costs are charged to expense in the period such offering is aborted and recorded on the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income.
Other Assets and Other Liabilities
Other assets, net generally consists primarily of net deferred rent assets, rents receivable, deferred offering costs, prepaid expenses, deferred financing costs associated with our lines of credit, operating lease right-of-use assets, deposits on potential real estate acquisitions, the carrying value of certain farm equipment owned by us and used on our farms, investments in long-term water assets (see “—Investments in Water Assets” below for further discussion), net ownership interests in special-purpose LLCs (see “—Investments in Unconsolidated Entities” below for further discussion), and the fair value of interest rate swaps if market interest rates are above the fixed rate of the respective swap (see Note 4, “Borrowings—Interest Rate Swap Agreements,” for further discussion).
Other liabilities, net generally consists primarily of rents received in advance, net deferred rent liabilities, operating lease liabilities, and the fair value of interest rate swaps if market interest rates are below the fixed rate of the respective swap (see Note 4, “Borrowings—Interest Rate Swap Agreements,” for further discussion).
Investments in Unconsolidated Entities
We determine if an entity is a variable interest entity (“VIE”) in accordance with ASC Topic 810, “Consolidation.” For an entity in which we have acquired an interest, the entity will be considered a VIE if either of the following characteristics are met: (i) the entity lacks sufficient equity to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support, or (ii) equity holders, as a group, lack the characteristics of a controlling financial interest. We evaluate all significant investments in real estate-related assets to determine if they are VIEs, utilizing judgment and estimates that are inherently subjective.
If an entity is determined to be a VIE, we then determine whether to consolidate the entity as the primary beneficiary. The primary beneficiary has both (i) the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the VIE’s economic performance, and (ii) the obligation to absorb losses of the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the VIE that could potentially be significant to the entity.
See Note 3, “Real Estate and Lease Intangibles—Investments in Unconsolidated Entities,” for further discussion.
Investments in Water Assets
From time to time, we have entered into contracts to acquire additional water assets for certain of our farms (see Note 3, “Real Estate and Lease Intangibles—Investments in Water Assets”). The water assets acquired may be in the form of either water banked at a government municipality or groundwater pumping credits obtained through groundwater recharge programs established by government municipalities, which recharge is achieved via groundwater recharge facilities we have constructed on certain of our farms. The contracts we have entered into to acquire additional water assets cannot readily be net settled by means outside of the respective contracts; therefore, in accordance with ASC 360, we recognize the investments in long-term water assets at cost, including all costs necessary to procure and transfer the water asset to its intended location. Costs to acquire water assets are initially deferred in a prepaid account until such time that the water assets are recognized by the respective water district, at which time, the costs related to the recognized water assets are reclassed and capitalized as an investment in long-term water assets. Investments in long-term water assets and the related prepaid asset are both included in Other assets, net on our accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets. While we may, in the future, sell portions of these water assets to unrelated third parties for a profit, our current intent is to hold these water assets for the long-term for future use on our farms. There is no amount of time by which we must use these water assets.
Each quarter, we will review our investments in long-term water assets for any indicators of impairment in accordance with ASC 360 and perform an impairment analysis if there are any such indicators. In determining if impairment exists, we consider such indicators which may include, but are not limited to, deteriorating market conditions and environmental or regulatory changes. As of December 31, 2023, we concluded that there were no such indicators and that the water assets were not impaired.
Non-controlling Interests
Non-controlling limited interests in our Operating Partnership are those OP Units not owned by us. We evaluate whether OP Units held by non-controlling OP Unitholders are subject to redemption features outside of our control. OP Units held by non-controlling OP Unitholders are redeemable at the option of the holder for cash or, at our election, shares of our common stock and thus are reported in the equity section of the Consolidated Balance Sheets but separate from stockholders’ equity. The amount reported for such non-controlling interests on the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income represent the portion of income (loss) from the Operating Partnership not attributable to us. At the end of each reporting period, we determine the amount of equity (at book value) that is allocable to non-controlling interests based upon the respective ownership interests. To reflect such non-controlling interests’ equity interest in the Company, an adjustment is made to non-controlling interests, with a corresponding adjustment to paid-in capital, as reflected on the Consolidated Statements of Equity.
Lease Revenue
Lease revenue includes rents that each tenant pays in accordance with the terms of its respective lease, reported evenly over the non-cancelable term of the lease. Most of our leases contain rental increases at specified intervals, which we recognize on a straight-line basis. For leases that are deemed not probable of collection, revenue is recorded as the lesser of (i) the amount that would be recognized on a straight-line basis or (ii) cash that has been received from the tenant (including deferred revenue), with any receivable balances (including deferred rent receivables) charged as a direct write-off against lease revenue in the period of the change in the collectability determination. If the collectability determination for leases for which revenue is being recorded based on cash received from the tenant subsequently changes to being probable, we resume recognizing revenue, including deferred revenue, on a straight-line basis and recognize incremental revenue related to the reinstatement of cumulative deferred rent receivable and deferred revenue balances as if revenue had been recorded on a straight-line basis since the inception of the lease. As of December 31, 2023, three of our leases with two different tenants were recognized on a cash basis due to the full collectability of the remaining rental payments under the respective leases not being deemed probable. Certain other leases provide for additional rental payments that are based on a percentage of the gross crop revenues earned on the farm, which we refer to as participation rents. Such contingent revenue is generally recognized when all contingencies have been resolved and when actual results become known or estimable, enabling us to estimate and/or measure our share of such gross revenues. As a result, depending on the circumstances of each lease, certain participation rents may be recognized by us in the year the crop was harvested, while other participation rents may be recognized in the year following the harvest.
Deferred rent receivable, included in Other assets on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets, includes the cumulative difference between rental revenue as recorded on a straight-line basis and cash rents received from the tenants in accordance with the lease terms. In addition, we determine, in our judgment, to what extent the deferred rent receivable applicable to each specific tenant is collectable. We perform a quarterly review of the net deferred rent receivable balance as it relates to straight-line rents and take into consideration the tenant’s payment history, the financial condition of the tenant, business conditions of the industry in which the tenant operates, and economic and agricultural conditions in the geographic area in which the property is located. In the event that the collectability of deferred rent with respect to any given tenant is in doubt, we record a direct write-off of the specific rent receivable, with a corresponding adjustment to lease revenue.
Tenant recovery revenue includes payments received from tenants as reimbursements for certain operating expenses, such as property taxes, insurance premiums, and water delivery costs. These expenses and their subsequent reimbursements are recognized under property operating expenses as incurred and lease revenue as earned, respectively, and are recorded in the same periods. We generally do not record any lease revenue or property operating expenses associated with costs paid directly by our tenants for net-leased properties.
Other Operating Revenue
Other operating revenue consists of non-lease revenue generated as a result of activities performed on certain of our properties. During the year ended December 31, 2023, we recognized approximately $79,000 of non-cash revenue, in the form of water credits, associated with the transfer and storing of surplus water on behalf of a government municipality using a groundwater recharge facility constructed on one of our farms. The timing of revenue recognition generally occurs once water credits are recognized by the respective water district at the estimated fair value of the resulting water credits. See Note 3, “Real Estate and Intangible Assets—Investments in Water Assets,” for further discussion.
Gain (loss) on Dispositions of Real Estate Assets
We recognize net gains (losses) on dispositions of real estate assets either upon the abandonment of an asset before the end of its useful life or upon the closing of a transaction (be it an outright sale of a property or the sale of a perpetual, right-of-way easement on all or a portion of a property) with the purchaser. When a real estate asset is abandoned prior to the end of its useful life, a loss is recorded in an amount equal to the net book value of the related real estate asset at the time of abandonment. In the case of a sale of a property, a gain (loss) is recorded to the extent that the total consideration received for a property is more (less) than the property’s net carrying value, plus any closing costs incurred, at the time of the sale. Gains are recognized using the full accrual method (i.e., when the collectability of the sales price is reasonably assured, we are not obligated to perform additional activities that may be considered significant, the initial investment from the buyer is sufficient, and other profit recognition criteria have been satisfied). Gains on sales of real estate assets may be deferred in whole or in part until the requirements for gain recognition have been met.
Other Income
We record non-operating and unusual or infrequent income as Other income on our Consolidated Statements of Operations. Other income recorded for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021 was primarily from interest patronage received on certain of our long-term borrowings and interest earned on short-term investments.
Involuntary Conversions and Property and Casualty Recovery
We account for involuntary conversions, for example, when a nonmonetary asset, such as property or equipment, is involuntarily converted to a monetary asset, such as insurance proceeds, in accordance with ASC 605, “Revenue Recognition,” which requires us to recognize a gain or a loss equal to the difference between the carrying amount of the nonmonetary asset and the amount of monetary assets received. Further, in accordance with ASC 450, “Contingencies,” recovery of the loss is considered to be probable, we will recognize a receivable for the amount expected to be covered by insurance proceeds, not to exceed the related loss recognized, unless such amounts have been realized.
Income Taxes
We have operated and intend to continue to operate in a manner that will allow us to qualify as a REIT under the Sections 856-860 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Beginning with our tax year ended December 31, 2013, we elected to be taxed as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, and Land Advisers has been treated as a wholly-owned TRS that is subject to federal and state income taxes.
As a REIT, we generally are not subject to federal corporate income taxes on amounts that we distribute to our stockholders (except income from any foreclosure property), provided that, on an annual basis, we distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (excluding net capital gains) to our stockholders and meet certain other conditions. To the extent that we satisfy the annual distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our taxable income (including net capital gains), we will be subject to corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income. If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, we will be subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates (including any alternative minimum tax) and may not be able to qualify as a REIT for the four immediately-subsequent taxable years.  Even as a REIT, we may be subject to certain state and local income and property taxes and to federal income and excise taxes on undistributed taxable income.  In general, however, as long as we qualify as a REIT, no provision for federal income taxes will be necessary, except for taxes on undistributed REIT taxable income and taxes on the income generated by a TRS (such as Land Advisers), if any.
Should we have any taxable income or loss in the future, we will account for any income taxes in accordance with the provisions of ASC 740, “Income Taxes” (“ASC 740”), using the asset and liability method. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized based on differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective income tax basis (including for operating loss, capital loss, and tax credit carryforwards) and are calculated using the enacted tax rates and laws expected to be in effect when such amounts are realized or settled. In addition, we will establish valuation allowances for tax benefits when we believe it is more-likely-than-not (defined as a likelihood of more than 50%) that such assets will not be realized.
We perform an annual review for any uncertain tax positions and, if necessary, will record future tax consequences of uncertain tax positions in the financial statements. An uncertain tax position is defined as a position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return that is not based on clear and unambiguous tax law and which is reflected in measuring current or deferred income tax assets and liabilities for interim or annual periods. As of December 31, 2023 and 2022, we had no provisions for uncertain tax positions. The prior three tax years remain open for an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
Comprehensive Income
We record the effective portion of changes in the fair value of the interest rate swap agreements that qualify as cash flow hedges to accumulated other comprehensive income. For the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021, we reconciled net income attributable to the Company to comprehensive income attributable to the Company on the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income.
Segment Reporting
We manage our operations on an aggregated, single-segment basis for purposes of assessing performance and making operating decisions and, accordingly, have only one reporting and operating segment.
Recently-Issued Accounting Pronouncements
As of December 31, 2023, there were no recently-issued accounting pronouncements that had a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.