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AGRICULTURE | Crop Production
raptorag.com

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Founded Year

2016

Stage

Unattributed | Alive

Total Raised

$27.3M

Last Raised

$27.3M | 1 yr ago

About Raptor AG

Raptor Ag is a privately held agriculture investment firm that specializes in permanent crop investments and operations.

Raptor AG Headquarter Location

5201 N. Sooner Road

Edmond, Oklahoma, 73034,

United States

832 220 5983

Latest Raptor AG News

Raptor Ag Secures $27.3M in Funding to Advance Hazelnut Orchard Development

Jul 27, 2020

Raptor Ag Secures $27.3M in Funding to Advance Hazelnut Orchard Development July 27, 2020 By Lynda Kiernan, Global AgInvesting Media Oklahoma-based Raptor Ag announced the successful raising of $27.3 million in funding to further support the company as it reaches its goal of becoming the largest operator of hazelnut orchards in North America by the spring of 2021. This capital was raised through multiple channels. The company closed on a financial arrangement with an institutional investor totaling $19.8 million in November 2019,  and recently closed on an additional $7.5 million through a round of funding backed by a single investment firm. With these funds, Raptor Ag plans to further expand its hazelnut operations in Oregon, and has earmarked capital to acquire and develop approximately 354 tillable acres, of which 120 are existing, producing hazelnut orchards. The company plans to develop the balance of the land this coming winter. Raptor also has further acreage under contract, which is expected to close and be planted in the coming months, and is expecting to be announcing another $6.1 million in funding within the next few weeks. Phew! Founded just four years ago in 2016 by CEO Chris Eubanks, Dustin Faulkner and Jason Perkins, Raptor Ag was created with the goal of becoming the largest operator of hazelnut orchards in North America – a goal that is rapidly being realized. The company acquired its first 1,400 tillable acres in the summer of 2017, and went on to plant 1,000 acres of hazelnut trees the following winter. Today, Raptor Ag has acquired more than 2,000 tillable acres in Oregon’s Willamette Valley via purchase agreements and long-term leases. “We’ve been fortunate to quickly build a substantial hazelnut orchard position in a relatively short time,” said Chris Eubanks, CEO,  Raptor Ag. “Raptor Ag and our investing partners have a very positive outlook on hazelnuts and the future of the hazelnut market. We certainly believe it’s a quality, investment-grade opportunity.” Hazelnut’s Turn Turkey is the dominant global hazelnut producer, accounting for 75 percent of the world’s supply, while the U.S. accounts for about 3.5 percent of global production. Of total U.S. production, 99 percent of the country’s hazelnuts are grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where they have been cultivated since the mid-1800s. High prices and consumer enthusiasm have put a spotlight on the often-overshadowed hazelnut (we’re looking at you almonds), however, a key driver of growth for hazelnut production has been the introduction of resistant cultivars in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The release of a new variety developed through the natural breeding program at Oregon University called Jefferson is not susceptible to the Eastern Filbert Blight that attacks previous strains, and has been a factor in driving the state’s hazelnut industry into a period of growth. Since 2012, acreage has expanded from approximately 30,000 acres to around 85,000 acres last year, Darrin Cline, communications director for the Hazelnut Marketing Board,  told Food Navigator-USA . Over that time period, Oregon saw a record-breaking crop of 50,000 tons in 2018, and expectations are that production will soar, nearly doubling to 90,000 tons by 2025. “It has actually been a pretty exciting time in the hazelnut world here in the last couple of years,” Cline told Food Navigator-USA , “the growth has been tremendous throughout Oregon’s Willamette Valley.” With operations offices near Corvallis, Oregon, and a full-time staff, Raptor Ag has also identified the Willamette Valley as a prime geography for investment. The company focuses on high-quality land with water rights, and adheres to intensive management strategies including a drop-line fertigation program. “With plenty of water, a mild climate and regulations that are friendly to agriculture, the country’s primary hazelnut production region – Oregon’s Willamette Valley – is an excellent place to invest in agriculture,” said Eubanks. “We are planning to double our hazelnut  orchard position in the next 36 months.”   – Lynda Kiernan is editor with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s  AgInvesting Weekly News  and   Agtech Intel News , and HighQuest Group’s  Oilseed & Grain News . She is also a contributor to the  GAI Gazette . She can be reached at  lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com .

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