Weekly AgNews – August 22, 2017

Printer Friendly
Bookmark and Share

USDA Survey Shows Iowa Farmland Value Up 2%

Iowa’s farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $8,000 per acre in mid-2017, according to USDA’s annual survey, released in early August. That’s up $150 per acre, a 2% increase from a year earlier. There are two other categories in this survey. Cropland value increased 1% from last year to $8,100 per acre. Pasture, at $3,100 per acre, decreased $300 per acre from a year ago.

The USDA midyear report mirrors other surveys of real estate agents and ag bankers showing a stable or slightly rising average price for cropland in 2017. Real estate agents and bankers cited the lack of land for sale as a big factor in rising land prices.

Values down in neighboring states
While Iowa farmland was slightly higher, values eroded in several other Corn Belt states. Illinois farm real estate was down 1.4%, Indiana down 2.1%, Missouri down 1.5% and Nebraska down 1.7%. Like Iowa, farmland prices were up slightly in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Read More

Farm Debt, Assets at Record Highs

It’s been a tough year. The most recent years have all been tough. Low commodity prices cause decreased land values, tighter balance sheets and a high level of stress for producers across the country. As a result, they continue to take on more debt. In fact, the absolute amount of outstanding farm debt is likely to reach an all-time high this year.

“If debt were to increase 5% from current levels it will exceed 1980 levels,” says Brent Gloy of Agricultural Economic Insights.

While that’s true in terms of raw dollar figures adjusted for inflations, unlike the historic downturn of 1980, farm debt to asset ratios are still very low.

Learn More

Brazil May Place Tariff on U.S. Ethanol

U.S. ethanol champions are bracing for the possibility that Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, could soon land a devastating blow in what increasingly looks like an all-out global trade war over alternative fuels.

Brazil’s leaders will decide by the end of this month whether to slap a 20 percent tariff on American ethanol, a step that analysts say largely is driven by the country’s desire to freeze out foreign products for its own economic and industrial gain. The move, which appears likely, would come on the heels of China also slapping harsh tariffs on U.S. ethanol and related products earlier this year.

Brazil’s decision could represent a serious hit to domestic producers in the U.S., who ship more ethanol to Brazil than any other country, with the exception of Canada. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the ethanol industry’s top trade group, says that Brazil imported nearly 21 million gallons of American ethanol in June alone.

Read More

NAFTA Negotiations Aim For ‘Ambitious’ 1st Round of Talks – US Official

WASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States are aiming for an ambitious first round of trade talks, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday, as the countries try to fast-track a deal to modernize the pact by early next year.

The United States Trade Representative official, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said all sides would all submit a substantial number of proposals during the first week of the talks aimed at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington. The talks start on Wednesday.

“We are actually going to be quite ambitious in this first round,” the USTR official said, without elaborating on specifics.

Learn More

Amazing Views of the World’s Biggest Solar Farms

Traditional sources of energy like oil and coal have proved disastrous for the planet, and being that they’re a finite resource, the world is finally beginning to catch on to the idea that we need to consider a plan b.

Enter renewable energy. Emerging super powers like India and China have gotten the memo that the future of energy will have to come from somewhere other than the ground, and incredible projects are now being built to make it happen.

Massive solar farms, made from millions of solar panels that harness the sun’s energy, have started sprouting up all over the world. And they look incredible from an aerial view. Here are some of the biggest solar farms across the globe.

Learn More

Corn Yields Found Below Average in Southeastern South Dakota

STICKNEY, S.D., Aug 21 (Reuters) – Corn yield potential in southeastern South Dakota was below average, with soybean pod counts also low as crops showed signs of stress in the fields, scouts on annual tour found on Monday.

Crop scouts on the first day of the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour saw signs of excessive moisture early in the growing season that hampered soybean development. Green snap was noted in corn fields.

“The further west you are getting, it starts to drop off,” said Denny Rollenhagen, a farmer from Wells, Minnesota, who was a scout on the tour.

Learn More

Farmers Optimistic About NAFTA Negotiations

U.S. farm groups are somewhat wary, but farmers are downright enthusiastic about an overhaul of NAFTA. In a Purdue University poll of 400 producers, 83% of respondents say they are in favor of renegotiation – one of President Trump’s campaign promises – and 62% say they expect the revised agreement would benefit U.S. farmers.

The results are in line with earlier surveys by Purdue for its Ag Economy Barometer. Nine of 10 producers say exports are important to the ag economy, and eight of 10 say exports are important to their own farms. Negotiations to revise NAFTA could begin as soon as this month. Canada and Mexico account for one third, or $85 billion, in U.S. food and ag trade.

When the administration asked for advice on U.S. goals at NAFTA, grain and commodity groups said to avoid trade disruptions while trying to expand sales. Dairy groups targeted Canada’s supply-management system. Vegetable growers said they are losing ground to lower-priced Mexican produce.

Read More

Let John Duarte’s Story Serve As A Wake-Up Call

John Duarte is a California farmer who took on the federal government and lost.

He’s not the first to do so and probably won’t be the last. However, his case should serve as a wake-up call to farmers, ranchers and land owners across the country.

Faced with millions of dollars in fines and after years of legal procedures, Duarte finally decided to settle with the government and avoid the risk of losing his family operation and jobs for hundreds of workers.

Read More

Chapter Leaders Day

Eighteen chapter leaders gathered in Denver last week to network and meet with national staff. Attendees participated in a dynamic, interactive program that covered the challenges and opportunities facing ASFMRA as an organization. The first day was filled with presentations by both national staff members and chapter leaders about education services, newsletters, annual survey results, membership development and conferences. The second day attendees broke into focus groups based off of their interest and brainstormed ideas to help grow membership, designations, meeting attendance and membership value.

I had a great time at the Chapter Leaders Meeting. It was a great learning experience. I got to network with others from around the country and learn some of the things they are doing in their chapter. I have some great ideas on how to grow our chapter. You can really tell that ASFMRA is an advocate for its members.” – Tyler Mullins, 2017 Attendee

Welcome New Members

Thank you for being a part of ASFMRA! Help ASFMRA welcome our new members and thank them for choosing the Society as the organization that they desire to be affiliated with. ASFMRA continues to support rural property professionals and offers services, resources and education which will be of benefit to all of our members, both professionally and personally.

We are recognizing new members of the Society on a monthly basis. You may recognize your colleagues in the following list and we encourage you to welcome them into ASFMRA!

New Members
William Hale Almand with AgGeorgia Farm Credit in Valdosta, GA (Georgia Chapter)
John McRae Finlayson, III in Quitman, GA (Georgia Chapter)
Nathan Adams in McKinney, TX (Texas Chapter)
Troy Peters with Southern AgCredit, ACA in Ridgeland, MS (Mid-South Chapter)
Seth Waibel with Waibel Farmland Services, Inc. in Mahomet, IL (Illinois Chapter)

Share Your Experience – Make a Referral

You know first-hand what a great organization ASFMRA is and what it means to you both professionally and personally. Pass that benefit on to others that you know who would benefit from membership with The Most Trusted rural property professional organization – ASFMRA! Talk to those you know who would benefit from ASFMRA’s educational offerings, networking, and meetings. Let them know your experiences of being involved in this great association and some of the business contacts you have made along with lasting friendships. Your peers listed below have done just that! They spoke to individuals about ASFMRA and those individuals have now become members of ASFMRA!

Timothy Dean, ARA
Charles Havranek
Matthew Moxley
Tyler Mullins
Brian Waibel, AFM

Thank you to all who have referred someone and in some cases, more than one, to join ASFMRA.

Let the Bidding Begin!

Let’s start the fun early and start bidding on the Golf Foursome in Savannah, Georgia with Stephen Frerichs now! Brian Gatzke, ARA has donated this to the Education Foundation for the 2017 Auction.  The lucky winner will play at The Club at Savannah Harbor and receive $100 to enjoy snacks and/or beverages at the Club House.

Let the bidding begin! This on-line opportunity ends on October 23, 2017 so the winner will have time to make plans to go to Savannah and enjoy golfing with Stephen Frerichs!

Step 1: Click on the link below
Step 2: Log-in or Create Your Account
Step 3: Confirm your information
Step 4: Enter your credit card
Step 5: Enter your winning bid!

Bid on the Golf-Foursome!

Good luck!

2017 Education Foundation Auction Donations Received – Make Yours Now

A couple additional donations have been made to the 2017 Education Foundation Auction!

The Indiana Chapter has donated an Indianapolis 500 Racing package. You do not want to miss your opportunity to bid on this amazing package that includes everything that you will need to have an amazing weekend! The package has it all – includes two tickets for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race weekend (May 25th through May 27th), two race day tickets located in the Paddock Grandstand where you will have a spectacular view of the Start/Finish, two tickets for admission to Miller Lite Carb Day (May 25th), two tickets for Legends Day (May 26th), two tickets for admission to the garage area immediately following completion of the race, and a three day auto parking permit!

Brian Gatzke, ARA has donated the Savannah Golf Foursome. Come play golf in Savannah with Stephen Frerichs plus receive $100 to spend in the Club House. Enjoy your round of golf at The Club at Savannah Harbor. This Golf Foursome may be redeemed either before or after the ASFMRA Annual Conference (valid until April 8, 2018).

Roos & Associates, Inc. has donated a Quilt that you will want to take home with you! This is a farm theme Queen/King sized quilt made by Pat Roos. This quilt will keep you warm on the cold nights and keep you feeling nice and snug. You will have a difficult time sharing this quilt with your family.

Make your tax deductible donation to the Education Foundation Auction today by simply completing the donation form. Return the completed form directly to Hope Evans via e-mail at: hevans@asfmra.org or fax at: 303.758.0190.

Mark your calendar now – November 16, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia and be part of this special event. Plans are being made and we need you to make the Auction a success again this year! We need your donations. The Education Foundation Auction’s success depends on you – ASFMRA members, Chapters, sponsors, exhibitors, and nonmember supporters.

Make your commitment for Auction items by October 23, 2017. Auction items should be shipped directly to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa to arrive no later than Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Please do not send your Auction items to arrive at the hotel more than three (3) days in advance – not to arrive before November 10, 2017 – due to the cost the hotel charges for storage.

If you have any questions concerning donations, contact Hope Evans directly at: 303.692.1216 or hevans@asfmra.org. THANK YOU for your generous donations and continued support.

Make the most of Your Membership – Mark Your Calendar Now For Orientation

Learn about the benefits you receive from your ASFMRA membership through this informative meeting that will consist of a power point presentation and conference call. New Member Orientation meetings/calls are held on a quarterly basis. This is the perfect way to afford new members and prospects the opportunity to get together with ASFMRA Executive Council and ASFMRA Staff for an open/interactive forum to be briefed on ASFMRA meetings, education, and other opportunities. If you are a new member, you will receive an email invitation that will contain a link for you to join the power point presentation and the call in information for you to participate in the conference call portion of the meeting. If you have a prospective member interested in attending, please contact Hope Evans so she can send an invite.  Join us to learn about the benefits you receive from your ASFMRA membership. The upcoming schedule is as detailed below:

- Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12 pm ET
- Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12 pm ET