Weekly AgNews – July 25, 2017

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White House Confirms Two USDA Executive Slots

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2017 – The White House tonight said President Trump plans to nominate Indiana Agriculture Director Ted McKinney to become USDA’s first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, and Sam Clovis to be undersecretary for research, education and economics, confirming Agri-Pulse reports in mid-May.

McKinney spent 19 years with Dow AgroSciences, and 14 years with Elanco, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co. Clovis served as chief policy adviser on the Trump campaign and has been working as a senior White House adviser at USDA since the president took office.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had praise for both men.

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Expect More Pressure on Cash Rents in 2018

Summer might seem a little early to be thinking about 2018 cash rents, but it might prove useful to keep operator budgets in mind as landowners and tenants visit during summer inspection tours.

Obviously, prospective margins are extremely tight, reports the University of Illinois’ Gary Schnitkey. Using records of more than 5,500 farm operators handled by local Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) Associations across Illinois, Schnitkey developed the following projections for this year’s budgets. He used a projected sales price of $3.70 per bushel for corn, which is based on current projections for this year’s total harvest, potential use and old-crop carryover of 2.295 billion bushels. USDA currently projects carryover from the 2017 crop will total 2.11 billion bushels. Much can still happen between now and when those bushels are in the bin.

The projected margins leave little room for farmers to pay cash rent. The state average cash rent is $221 an acre, according to USDA. This means only those operators farming high-productivity farmland in central Illinois will have a positive margin of $9 an acre to go toward family living expenses.

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Farmland is a Buyers Market, Expert Says

An expert in Corn Belt farmland says the market is in the favor of buyers, and many of those buyers are producers keeping the land in use.


U.S., China Sign Historic Agreement to Provide Market Access for U.S. Rice Exports

(WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017) – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the United States to begin exporting rice to China for the first time ever.

“This is another great day for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for our rice growers and millers, who can now look forward to gaining access to the Chinese market. This market represents an exceptional opportunity today, with enormous potential for growth in the future,” said Perdue. “The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry.”

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. Since 2013, it has also been the largest importer, with imports reaching nearly 5 million tons last year. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

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Land Value Outlook: Gradual Decline to Continue

Farmers National Co. is out with its midyear land outlook, and it’s a mixed bag.

“The trend in today’s land market is hard to discern as some sales bring a better-than-anticipated price, while others may show a decline in value from previous sales,” says Randy Dickhut, Farmers National Co. senior vice president of real estate operations.

Dickhut says land values can be expected to continue to gradually decline over the next several years, if commodity prices and the underlying farm incomes remain at current low levels.

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Illinois News Network: Big Data and New Tech are Transforming Agriculture for Illinois Farmers

Illinois farmers have traditionally used observations about their fields to make decisions, but experts say big data and new technology are offering them more information than ever and driving farming into a digital agriculture age.

Big data isn’t exclusive to agriculture; it’s a term describing the capability to capture a large volume of information, analyze it and use it in a timely manner. But big data is taking root in agriculture and evolving into what Steve Sonka, professor emeritus of agricultural strategy at the University of Illinois, calls digital agriculture.

“We’re really in early days of digital ag and big data,” Sonka said. “And so for the first time really ever in production agriculture, we’re just now beginning to be able to capture data on our own actual operations. That is a really big deal.”

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Why More Young People Should Get Summer Jobs On The Farm

After a 14-year slog young people are in need of a break to ask searching questions. What do they want to do with their lives? Do they want to saddle up a mountain of debt to take out into the ‘real world’?

What if there was to be a pause. A year in which you have the chance to earn your tuition fees while at the same time learning more about yourself. A time to explore a life outdoors. A time to grow food, develop community and repair a damaged environment. A truly productive gap year.

The number of social, health and ecological benefits that can be gained from a year of working in common purpose is astounding. Breaking down social barriers by having people working together from all over the country will remind us how much we have in common. Working outside in nature is known to benefit us in body and mind – not just because I might be a bit of a hippy, but because peer-reviewed science shows that it does. We know that convalescence is faster, recidivism is reduced, learning is deeper and our minds are eased in nature.

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South Dakota Agricultural Land Market Trends, 1991 – 2017:Results from the 2017 SDSU South Dakota Farm Real Estate Survey

The 2017 SDSU Extension Farm Real Estate Market Survey is the 27th annual survey of agricultural landvalues and cash rental rates by land use and quality indifferent regions of South Dakota1. Reported are resultsof the survey and a discussion of factors influencing buyer/seller decisions and positive/negative factors impacting farmland markets. The publication of the survey findings is in response to numerous requests by farmland owners, renters, appraisers, lenders, buyers,and others for detailed information on South Dakota farmland markets.

The 2017 estimates are based on reports from 167 responses to the 2017 SDSU survey. Responses are from agricultural lenders, Farm Service Agency officials, rural appraisers, assessors, realtors, professional farm managers, and Extension Field Specialists. All are familiar with farm real estate market trends in their localities. The number of responses for 2017 was the lowest total responses during the past 26 years.

See the Report

USDA Can’t Stop the Bleeding in It’s Crop Ratings

DES MOINES, Iowa — For over a month, the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report has shown declining corn conditions. And the spring wheat and soybean crops are not far behind the corn crop records.

In its weekly Crop Progress Report, the USDA sent all three crops’ ratings lower.

See the Ratings

Newly Accredited Members

Please join us in congratulating our newly accredited members:

Receiving the ARA designation:
Travis Anderson, ARA
David Holt, ARA
Mitchell Knudson, ARA
Jeffery Moore, ARA
Fred Strickland, ARA
Sara Wilson, ARA

Receiving the RPRA designation:
Randi Gathje, ARA, RPRA

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
Michael Curran in Phoenix, AZ (Arizona Chapter)
Nicole Dunn with Hertz Farm Management in Mason City, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Austin Larkey with Farm Credit Services of America in Oxford Junction, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Cameron Roth with Vaughn-Roth Land Brokers/Legacy Land Management in Burlington, KS (Kansas Chapter)
Kenneth Rountree in Lenox, GA (Georgia 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!

M. Duane “Banjo” Davis
Calvin Dickson, AFM
Karey Dirks
Gregory Powell, ARA

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

Summer Education Week Raffle Raises Over $5,000!

The newly named Education Foundation Legacy Funding Committee, formally the Education Foundation Auction Committee raised just over $5000 at Summer Education Week (SEW) this year! And they did it with almost no cost to ASFMRA. Crop Copter donated a Drone to giveaway (thank you Rick Hiatt, AFM for twisting their arm) and Steve Motsinger and Boyd Harris donated a golf-foursome in Savannah. In addition, ASFMRA provided some YETI cups, Terry Kestner, ARA, RPRA donated four beer growlers and Cabela’s donated some additional items.

Kim French, ARA won the Drone and Brian Gatzke, ARA won the golf-foursome. Brian has re-gifted the golf-foursome with the caveat that Stephen Frerichs will be part of the foursome and proceeds will be used for appraiser education – so look for some additional promotions as we work to auction the golf-foursome off, before heading to Savannah. Between this raffle and the March Madness fundraiser, the Education Foundation Legacy Funding Committee has raised over $9,000 – can’t wait to see how well they do at the Annual Conference’s Silent and Live Auction! Please think about making your donation today!

Appraisal Foundation Announcement

The Appraisal Foundation is pleased to announce that it has issued the following:
Second Exposure Draft – Valuation of Green and High-Performance Property: Commercial, Multifamily and Institutional Properties

All interested parties are encouraged to comment in writing before the deadline. Respondents should be assured that each comment will be thoroughly read and considered. 

Written comments requested by September 19, 2017.

Send comments to: APBComments@appraisalfoundation.org

Questions?  Please contact Staci Steward, Practices Board Program Manager, 202.624.3052.

Read the Draft