Ag News, November 27, 2012

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Swiss farmer won’t sell for $8 million/acre

Swiss farmer won’t sell for $8 million/acre –  is just one of many interesting postings on the ASFMRA LinkedIn group page. (And you thought Iowa farmland was selling at high prices) More on: Check out the group at:

The ASFMRA LinkedIn group is an open group with members from all over the world including China, Africa, Brazil and Romania to list a few. Anyone can join after an initial approval.  Just go to  and search for American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Request to join the group and within a day or two you will be in. Members post on a variety of issues that are interesting like the article mentioned above and others on land values.

Many of you may not know that ASFMRA has a presence on all the major social media. These are great places to view photos from events, read the latest on an event that is taking place or coming up soon. For example, before the 2012 AgroNomics Annual Meeting, you could find quotes from the key note speakers and presenters on Twitter.  The ASFMRA handle on Twitter is @ASFMRA and can be found at:

Facebook is a great place to view photos from events, meetings and happenings. Check it out at:  Feel free to post.

Rural economic outlook promising but drought remains a concern
Ron Smith – Southwest Farm Press

Wheat prices are expected to hold well into next year, and farmland values are expected to stay strong. Beef cattle prices likely will remain strong as well but producers must manage production costs, especially feed, closely. Farmers and ranchers also will face more rules and regulations as the pace for regulatory change continues to increase for farms and small businesses.

That’s the gist of an economic outlook presented by a quartet of Oklahoma State University Extension economists recently at the third annual Rural Economic Outlook Conference in Stillwater.
Read more on the Southwest Farm Press website:

Appraiser and AMC Survey Reveals Surprising Results
From Appraisal Buzz Newsletter – Interview with Charles Gilliland

The Texas A&M Real Estate Center recently published the findings of their extensive Appraiser and AMC survey: We were able to catch up with Charles Gilliland who is a Helen and O.N. Mitchell Fellow of Real Estate from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He is one of the key figures responsible for putting together this survey and publishing the results. We had a few questions he was glad to answer for us.

BUZZ: Charles, How did the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University get involved with this project?
GILLILAND: We were asked to complete this survey by a committee of the Texas Senate. This was done to assist the State of Texas as they work to assure compliance with Dodd-Frank requirements that appraiser should receive customary and reasonable fees. The study was done in an effort to figure out what these fees were. They chose to use the Texas A&M Real Estate Center because of our relationship with the real estate and appraisal industry and past research projects they had already completed.
BUZZ: How long did it take to complete the survey and how many researchers were involved in collecting and interpreting the data?
GILLILAND: We got the ball rolling in March of 2012. We realized this was going to be a controversial topic so we decided we needed to make sure the study was designed and conducted correctly and to the highest standards of public policy research. This is one of the reasons we chose to involve the Hobby Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston and the National Opinion Research Center from the University of Chicago. They did an amazing job setting up and testing the survey. The people at NORC have a renowned expertise in writing and conducting surveys. They put together the survey and pre-tested it in other markets in the industry. They sent out the final survey in August and we published the results November 1st.
BUZZ: In order to get these results who was surveyed and how many responses did you receive?
GILLILAND:  Two surveys were done one of registered appraisers in the state of Texas and one of registered appraisal management companies in Texas. We received a list of phone numbers and email addresses of licensed Texas appraisers. The original list was 10,041 we then whittled down the unusable contacts due to change of address, repetition, or people that had left the industry we had 6,734 eligible appraisers. We had 3 waves of contact that were sent out to take this online survey. The response rate for our appraiser survey was 26%. Our AMC survey reached out to the 166 registered AMCs in Texas. 54% completed the survey.
BUZZ:  What were some of the surprising results you have found in this survey?

Click on the following link to read the rest of our interview with Charles and find out what he thinks the most surprising results were:

Charles Gilliland is the Real Estate Center’s land market expert. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Texas A&M University. He has been studying land prices since the 1980s and is known throughout the state as the man to go to if you have questions about Texas land. In 2010, he was inducted into the Farm Credit Bank of Texas Hall of Honor for his “significant contributions to agriculture.”
Have any comments or would you like to submit content of your own? Email

Estate tax relief urged by agricultural coalition
USA Rice on Delta Farm Press

USA Rice Federation and 34 other farm, ranch, and allied-industry organizations wrote to U.S. Representatives and Senators to ask their support for permanent and meaningful estate-tax relief. The coalition urged Congress to act immediately on the estate-tax provision, until such time as full repeal is possible.

“This permanent extension will give farmers and ranchers the certainty they need to conduct business,” the letter says.

LINK for letter:
Read more:

Soy checkoff research yields smartphone app
From the United Soybean Board on Ag Professional

Ever wonder whether it’s worth it to apply a fungicide? How about the most cost-effective seeding rate? The national soy checkoff has put that information in the palm of your hand.

A new app developed by the United Soybean Board (USB) includes two calculators that help farmers plan for their next crop. One helps users determine whether the yield benefits of various input combinations justify the costs. The other uses the main maturity rates for a farmer’s region, the cost of soybean seed and an estimated price of the soybeans at the time of sale to determine an optimal seeding rate based on a percentage of return.

The app also includes documents and videos that describe the research behind each tool. Read more:

Third quarter ag survey shows declines in Midwest farm income, rising Mid-South land values
From Agri-Pulse

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 15, 2012 ― While the drought of 2012 continues to dampen expectations of farm income potential across much of the Midwest and Mid-South, agricultural lenders expect crop insurance and higher crop prices to help mitigate much of the impact. In addition, farmland values across the entire region continued to rise, according to third quarter survey results from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Read more:

Farmland prices: Boom or bubble?
Greg Henderson, Editor, Associate Publisher, Drovers CattleNetwork 

Recent years have produced prices for both farmland and pasture land that reached unprecedented levels. Can the trend continue – or is it a real estate bubble in the making?

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research examines current patterns in price of land.

Alex J. Pollock, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says the current U.S. farmland market is showing patterns similar to the market bubble of the 1970s. Calling the event the “great U.S. farmland bubble of the 1970s,” Pollock notes that prices peaked in 1982 before real prices fell back to their level of 15 years earlier “while defaults and insolvencies escalated.” Read more:

Chapter News

Ohio Chapter Annual Winter Meeting
January 29-30 2013
Natural Resource Valuation Seminar on 1/29
Worthington, OH
Contact Chapter Secretary: Barry Ward

South Dakota Chapter Winter Meeting

January 17, 2013
Income Approach Applications Seminar
January 17-18, 2013
The Valuation of Intangible and Non-Financial Assets Seminar
On line Registration:  or SD-Chapter ASFMRA hyper link
Download the South Dakota Chapter November Newsletter.

I Dare You to Read This
The Un-Comfort Zone by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr.

Recently, a reader wrote me to suggest that rather than trying to encourage someone, a better way to motivate them is to issue a challenge. So, I felt challenged to write about it.

Whenever I think of laying down a challenge, I think of a classic story about Charles Schwab the magnate of Bethlehem Steel. One day, he was visiting his least productive mill to discover why it was underperforming. During his inspection, he discovered that everything seemed to be in order: the workers all knew their jobs, the equipment was top-notch, and the manager highly educated. Despite all of that, it was producing far behind all his others.

He ended his tour of the facility a few minutes before shift change. Stopping in front of one the furnaces, he asked a worker, “How many heats has your shift made today?” “Six,” the man replied. Schwab then asked for a piece of chalk. He took it, wrote a large number “6″ on the floor, then left the building.
Read more:

Update Your Calendars with the Latest Meetings and Education Schedule

Stay current with all the programs and activities taking place within ASFMRA and the industry. Bookmark the ASFMRA website and check the calendar regularly. View the complete schedule of ASFMRA courses.

7/14-18 Summer Education Week – Omaha, NE
9/8-12 Leadership Institute – Washington, DC
10/28-11/1 ASFMRA 84th Annual Convention & Trade Show (Agronomics) – Reno, NV
12/4 ASFMRA Best in Business Ethics Webinar – Internet

1/14-17 Kentucky Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Louisville, KY
1/14-17 A301 Cost Approach for General Appraisers – Louisville, KY
1/17-18 South Dakota Chapter Winter Education and Joint Meeting with PAASD – Chamberlain, SD
1/17-18 Valuation of Intangible and Non Financial Assets – Chamberlain, SD 
1/23-25 Minnesota Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Minnesota
1/24-25 Idaho-Utah Chapter Annual Meeting – Fort Hall, ID
1/24 Valuation of Intangible and Non-Financial Assets Seminar – Fort Hall, ID
1/28-29 Oregon Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Oregon
1/28-29 Ohio Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Worthington, OH
1/29 Appraising Natural Resources Seminar – Worthington, OH

2/1 Appraisal Standards Board Meeting – San Francisco, CA
2/5-7 Iowa Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Ames, IA
2/12 Appraising Natural Resources Seminar – Kearney, NE
2/12-14  Nebraska Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Kearney, NE
2/14-15 Illinois Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Champaign, IL
2/20-23 A101 Basic Appraisal Principles – Denver, CO
2/21-22  Kansas Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Salina, KS
2/24-27 A102 Basic Appraisal Procedures – Denver, CO

3/4-5 A360 Introduction to Appraisal Review – Denver, CO
3/6-8 A370 Appraisal Review Under USPAP – Denver, CO
3/7-8 Missouri Chapter Annual Meeting & Education – Branson, MO
3/11-14 A302 Sales Comparison Approach for General Appraisers – Denver, CO

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