Ag News, April 23, 2013

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Rare Delta Farmland Auction Brings $17,544,000

The Delta farmland market witnessed a rare event last week as 3,627 quality cropland acres sold at public auction. The land involved is located 7.5 miles southwest of Cleveland, Miss., in Bolivar County. Private treaty sales are, by far, the most common method of selling farmland in the Delta. For some, auctions are reserved for properties which are under duress. Login to members resources to download the latest edition of LandOnwer:

Sorghum expecting historical production increases
From Agri-Pulse

The sorghum industry is expecting historical production increases nationally as the ongoing drought has pushed many farmers to switch to producing the crop used for cereals, animal feed and ethanol production.

Tim Lust, chief executive officer of the National Sorghum Producers (NSP), said the planting acreage is expected to jump 22 percent nationally this year. Several states, including Missouri, are projected to see increases of more than 50 percent from last year.

Even non-traditional sorghum growing states, such as North Carolina, are expecting production growth, Lust said, adding that the industry had been contracting for several years. “So it’s nice to see it going the other way,” Lust said.

He said most of the growth is “driven by drought” –the plants “use less water; it’s built into sorghum” -but also by increased demand for ethanol.

In addition, the recent EPA decision to qualify sorghum ethanol as an eligible fuel under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard is expected to further drive industry growth. And, said Lust, his group has additional feedstock petitions dealing with sweet sorghum and biomass sorghum pending at the EPA.

“Sorghum being feedstock for biofuel products is important because we are competing with soybeans in areas like California,” Lust said.

As with many other crops, exports are projected to be down for sorghum this year while domestic demand will increase, he said, noting that Mexico is expected to remain the top importer of U.S. sorghum.

Sorghum’s strong showing is being tempered, however, by the continued lack of a long-term farm bill, Lust said. “It’s important to get this done this year,” he said, adding that sorghum growers are working hard on “getting something on the books.”

At the Commodity Classic earlier in the year, NSP Chairman Terry Swanson discussed some of what is next for the crop in 2013, including a path way for grain sorghum as an advanced biofuel, improvements made to crop insurance price elections, and NSP’s work to expand the sorghum silage program to 59 counties in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

Daphne Preuss, chief executive officer of the sorghum research and marketing firm Chromatin Inc., discussed new developments in sorghum research and commercial marketing, touting sorghum as both a renewable fuels option and a water-sipping alternative crop.

“There’s not enough water in the world to sustain all the growth that we’re anticipating in the coming years,” Preuss said. “So the industry has to begin shifting to crops that are more water efficient, like sorghum.”

YPN Presents to 285 Students

The ASFMRA Young Professionals Network (YPN) leaders have been busy making presentations about the Society’s professions to students in ag-related courses at colleges and universities all over the U.S.  Since the beginning of the year this energetic group has made presentations to 285 students from Illinois, North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado.  Also as part of this ongoing outreadh Executive Council member Paul Moore, ARA, RPRA, just presented to 100 students at the University of Kentucky for the second year in a row.

The YPN Leadership Group has been meeting for about a year now and has planned some very exciting networking events and a communications training at Summer Ed Week July 14 in Omaha.

Career Day or “Finding a Great Professional Career in Rural America” for students in ag-related fields includes:
* Learning what professional Farm Managers, Rural Appraisers and Agricultural Consultants do, what their professional lives are like, and what it takes to join one of these professions.
* Learning how to conduct a professional job search. * Meeting with leading agricultural, farm management and rural appraisal companies one on one and hear exactly what kind of jobs they offer and they are looking for when they hire for them.

Get more info on Career Day activities:
For complete info on Summer Ed Week go to:

Registration Open for Summer Ed Week

Make plans now for this premiere education and networking event scheduled for July 14-18 in Omaha, Nebr. Courses, seminars offered include:

For Managers and Consultants
◦Ag Land Management 1
◦Ag Land Management 2
◦Ag Land Management 3
◦Technology, Tools, and Apps to Manage Data Overload
◦Excel For Managers
◦Marketing Through Mayhem – Presented by DTN

For Appraisers
◦General Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use – A290
◦Regression Analysis Uses in Appraisal
◦Minerals Seminar
◦Rural Case Studies 1
•Joint Education
◦ASFMRA Best in Business Ethics

Networking & Activities
•Your Future – Finding a Great Professional Career in Rural America Student Program – and Young Professionals Meeting plus numerous lunches, receptions and dinners throughout the week.

Get complete info or register:

Leonard Meador, AAC, Leads Tour at Blue Skies in Ghana

Blue Skies, the largest employer in Ghana, has been cutting and packing just-harvested fruit at the source and delivering it to Europe since 1998. They employ over 2000 people in their factories in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Brazil.

Leonard Meador, AAC led a tour for an Amish group of American business leaders recently who were visiting Blue Skies during a trip to Ghana. They said the visit to Blue Skies was the highlight of their tour.  Download their recent newsletter and view a picture of Leonard on page 2 or learn more about this remarkable organization..

President Obama’s new ag initiatives?
Kiplinger Agriculture Letter

He’ll get some but not all that he wants from a Congress intent on forging its own policies within the farm bill it’ll complete later this year.  Login to members resources to download the latest edition:

Renew and Pay Your Dues Online

As a reminder, you can pay your ASFMRA membership dues on-line! From this point forward, dues renewal invoices will continue to be sent via e-mail.

Simply go to the ASFMRA Web site (, log in (your Username is your First and Last name, altogether, no spaces and your Password is your member ID number), choose Update Profile, from the drop down menu choose ‘Pay Bills Online’, click Go, and your ASFMRA renewal dues invoice will appear. Then select the items you want to pay, click ‘Pay Selected Invoices’, and complete the information. It is that easy!

Need a receipt? Get a copy anytime day or night by simply going to the ASFMRA Web site (, log in, choose Update Profile, from the drop down menu choose ‘Order History’, click Go, from the second drop down menu choose which one you want such as ‘Orders placed in the past 6 months’, click Go, and your ASFMRA orders within the time period you specified will be listed. Click on the ‘View’ on the right hand side of the order you want to see. Your receipt for that order will appear. There is also a Printer Friendly option you can click on and then print the receipt. There is nothing else you have to do. It really is that simple!

Response to “A Wakeup Call for the Valuation Industry: Is anybody listening?”
By Marc Barlow, Appraiser in Arizona

I would like to offer some comments regarding Mr. Gilmore’s article in the April 9, 2013 issue of Ag News. I also read most of the NAHB report – “A Comprehensive Blueprint For Residential Appraisal Reform” dated February 2013. I disagree with most of Mr. Gilmore’s comments regarding the NAHB report. The NAHB report lacks a realistic understanding of what is taking place in the real estate appraisal profession today. Download the pdf and read more about what Marc has to say.   Read Dick Gilmore’s article from April 9, 2013:

Chapter News

Oklahoma Chapter Raised $50,000 for scholarships
The Oklahoma Chapter raised $50,000 for endowed scholarships which will be matched by Boone Pickens, at a future point upon his death, for Oklahoma State University (OSU), Agriculture Dept. of Ag-Economics. Scholarships will go students expressing an interest in the appraisal profession.  The Oklahoma Chapter presented the first scholarship to Brice Boatright of Mulhall, OK on April 13 of $1500 from this endowment.  Connie Burk Lee and Dave Collins made the presentation at the annual Aggie-X banquet held that date on the OSU campus.

Oregon Chapter Meeting & Education

May 9-10, 2013
Bend, Oregon
Overview of the Commercial & Agricultural Estimator Combo
Marshall & Swift Cost Methodology Download more information on this meeting.

In Memory – Charles L. Pilmer, AFM, ARA

Ballwin, Missouri

The ASFMRA was honored to welcome Chuck into the Society on July 2, 1947. He originally joined as a Candidate member. On January 1, 1954, he obtained his Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) designation and went to the Accredited classification. Five short years later, he obtained his Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designation. Chuck was the ASFMRA President in 1974. He served on the following Committees: Appraisal Education 1983-84; Appraisal Seminars 1977 as Chair, 1986, 1987 as Vice Chair, and 1988 as Chair; Appraisal Manual Review 1983 to 1985 and Chair 1985; Awards 1978 through 1982 and Chair 1982; Exam Review 1984; Program 1990 and 2003; Rural Appraisal Manual 1977-1979; Seminars 1976; Strategic Planning 1977-1978; and USDA Econo Research 1986-1988. On October 14, 1996, Chuck was nominated and approved by the ASFMRA Executive Council for the Honorary membership classification in the Society. In 2012, he was recognized in Indianapolis, Indiana for his 65 years of membership with the Society. He made many friends through his active involvement in the ASFMRA and will be missed greatly by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Virginia, three daughters and several grandchildren.

News from the Appraisal Foundation

The Appraisal Practices Board (APB) has issued the following discussion draft:

Discussion Draft: The Measurement and Application of Market Participant Acquisition Premiums
Issued on April 16, 2013
Written comments requested by June 14, 2013

Send comments to:

The next public meeting of the Appraiser Qualifications Board is approaching.  Please take the time to register for this meeting if you plan to attend.
Charlotte Marriott City Center
100 W. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 29202
Friday, May 3, 2013
9:00am – 12:00pm
You may make a reservation with the Charlotte Marriott City Center by contacting them directly at (704) 333-9000. Please note that The Appraisal Foundation no longer reserves “room blocks” for meeting attendees. Therefore, meeting attendees are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements at the best available rates. 
If you plan to attend the meeting, please register online at and click the Events/Meeting Registration button. If you have any questions about the meeting or the registration process, please contact Magdalene Vasquez, Qualifications Administrator, by email.

The Appraisal Practices Board (APB) has issued the following discussion draft:Discussion Draft – Collection and Verification of Sales Data  Link:
Issued on April 11, 2013
Written comments requested by May 30, 2013

Send comments to:

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