ASFMRA AgNews - Vol. 13 Issue XII [March 20, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 03-20-2018 08:16


Market Staying Stable

The farmland market across Iowa remains stable. With spring near, farmers are busy in the fields, which marks the end of the traditional farmland “sales season” of September to March.

During this sales time, most farms on the market sell. With crops harvested, seeing a parcel of land is much easier. Also, in winter when most farm leases have expired, the sale process is less encumbered. Farmland sales do occur year-round — just not as many during the growing season as the off-season.

The highest-quality farms from a production standpoint (highly productive soils, good fertility and drainage) continue to sell well and outperform those farms with waterways, other obstructions or poor soils. Both farmers and investors are active in today’s market, although farmers are the more prevalent buyer. Low interest rates, good crop yields in both 2016 and 2017, and a meaningful grain market rally since the beginning of 2018 are helping to support the Iowa farmland market.

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More News:

House Farm Bill Mark-up Delayed

House Agriculture Committee Democrats objected to proposed changes by Chairman Conaway to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) last week. Chairman Conaway (R-TX) would prefer to move a bi-partisan farm bill and therefore has delayed the mark-up that was scheduled this week into April in the hopes that he and Ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN) can reach an agreement regarding SNAP changes. The bulk of the remaining farm bill titles, including the commodity, crop insurance and conservation titles, have bi-partisan agreement, although no language has been released to the public yet.
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Senate Passes Banking Bill

On a strong bi-partisan vote (67-31), the Senate passed S. 2155, a banking bill that loosens some Dodd-Frank provisions last week. In addition to making changes to capital requirements for some smaller banks, the bill includes a provision, Section 103, that would allow an appraisal exemption under certain circumstances in rural areas. The exemption applies to Federally Related Transactions (FRTs) only of $400,000 value or less. A financial institution may seek the exemption if it has contacted at least 3 appraisers and can demonstrate that no State certified or licensed appraiser was available within a reasonable amount of time to complete an appraisal. This latter language was not specific and full of potential loopholes.

Because of the strong bi-partisan support for the bill and its expected passage, the Appraisal Institute sought clarifying language to Section 103 that ASFMRA supported. This language was included via a manager’s amendment that also passed by a vote of 67-31. The clarifying language is highlighted in yellow below. ASFMRA did not support this bill, nor Section 103, but did support making a bad provision slightly improved.

From the Manager’s Amendment:

‘‘(2) not later than 3 days after the date on which the Closing Disclosure Form, made in accordance with the final rule of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection entitled ‘Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)’ (78 Fed. Reg. 79730 (December 31, 2013)), relating to the federally related transaction is given to the consumer, the mortgage originator or its agent, directly or indirectly—

‘‘(A) has contacted not fewer than 3 State certified appraisers or State licensed appraisers, as applicable, on the mortgage originator’s approved appraiser list in the market area in accordance with part 226 of title 12, Code of Federal Regulations; and

‘‘(B) has documented that no State certified appraiser or State licensed appraiser, as applicable, was available within 5 business days beyond customary and reasonable fee and timeliness standards for comparable appraisal assignments, as documented by the mortgage originator or its agent;

See how your Senator voted on the overall bill
Read the letter that ASFMRA signed with other appraiser organizations thanking Senator Crapo for amending Section 103 - s2155

The bill’s fate remains uncertain. The House may pass the bill as is, and there would be no opportunity to further change Section 103. Or, if the House insists on a conference with the Senate to iron out differences between a previously passed House bill, which does not have an appraisal exemption provision, and S. 2155, there could be an opportunity to change Section 103. ASFMRA is watching this closely.

Read a section-by-section of the bill
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Appraisal Subcommittee to Consider Appraisal Waiver Request

The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) has received an appraisal waiver request from TriStar Bank, a state-chartered bank located in Dickson, Tennessee. Section 1119(b) of Title XI, authorizes the ASC to waive, on a temporary basis and with approval of the FFIEC, any certification or licensing requirement relative to certifying or licensing individuals to perform appraisals under Title XI in a State or geographic political subdivisions of a State upon a written determination that there is a scarcity of certified or licensed appraisers to perform appraisals in connection with federally related transactions leading to significant delays in the performance of such appraisals. The ASC has issued
procedures governing the processing of temporary waiver requests. After receiving a waiver request, the ASC is required to issue a public notice in the Federal Register requesting comment on the request for a proposed temporary waiver. Within 15 days of the close of the 30-day comment period, the ASC, by order, will grant or deny a waiver, in whole or in part, and upon specified terms or conditions, including provisions for waiver termination.

The ASC has issued the public notice in the Federal Register for Tristar Bank’s request on March 9th. ASFMRA has previously commented on this request and plans to resubmit comments on this notice.
Read the Notice and Associated Procedures 
Read About the Tristar Bank Request.
ASFMRA Previous Comments

Comments are due by April 9th.
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CFPB Releases 2018 List of Rural Counties

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its lists of rural counties and rural or underserved counties that entities can use in 2018 to determine whether they are exempt from certain regulatory requirements under the bureau’s Ability-to-Repay, escrow, HOEPA and appraisal rules. In addition to the lists, the CFPB also provides a tool that can help users determine whether a property is located in a rural or underserved area. 

See the List
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Senator Cochran Announces Retirement

Senator Cochran (R-MS) announced he will retire on April 1, 2018 due to health reasons. Senator Cochran currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He has previously served as the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and remains a member of that Committee. Senator Cochran is the 10th longest serving Senator in U.S. history. He has been a longtime champion for U.S. agriculture.
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Midwest Farmland Values Buck Three-year Trend

CHICAGO — A Seventh Federal Reserve District survey found “good” farmland values increased 1 percent from a year ago after three straight years of decline.

The district represents the northern one-third of Illinois and Indiana, most of Wisconsin and all of Iowa and Michigan.

With farmland values up slightly from Jan. 1, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2018, the district avoided exceeding three consecutive years of decline seen in 1984-1986.

Keep Reading
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Bayer Faces U.S. Antitrust Hurdles for Monsanto Merger

March 15 (Reuters) - Bayer AG's plan to win antitrust approval to buy U.S. seeds supplier Monsanto Co has not satisfied U.S. officials, who are worried the $62.5 billion merger could hurt competition, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Shares of Monsanto fell 4 percent in heavy afternoon trading following the news.

The U.S. Department of Justice wants Bayer to divest more assets to satisfy its conditions, and does not think the German chemicals company's current proposal is sufficient, Bloomberg reported,  citing people familiar with the matter.

Learn More
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Senators Want Farm Bill Emphasis on Green Payments, Not Land Retirement

President Trump called for elimination of the USDA’s green-payment program for working lands conservation in his budget. Now four members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are taking the opposite approach. They would keep the program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), in operation and reform other USDA conservation programs to keep high-quality farmland in production.

Lawmakers will have to resolve the divergent ideas in writing the new farm bill, which includes a section on conservation. Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson wants to expand the land-idling Conservation Reserve to 30 million acres, while, by some accounts, House Agriculture Chairman Michael Conaway would abolish the CSP. The USDA spends more than $5 billion a year on programs that range from land retirement to cost-share programs for controlling farm runoff to payments for making soil, water, and wildlife conservation part of day-to-day farming.

“It will be a debate. Two different approaches will be out there,” said Ferd Hoefner of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which has endorsed the so-called GROW (Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work) bill unveiled Thursday by Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bill Casey of Pennsylvania.

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199A Tax Code Fix is no Fix, Farmers Say

The House Ways and Means Committee said Wednesday it hammered out an amendment to Section 199A of the new US tax code, but it seems not everybody felt the provision needed to be fixed.

A group of farmers in Kansas believe Section 199A, as it’s written, is just fine as it gives growers a bigger tax break – allowing them to keep more of their earned income – than the Section 199 provision it replaced and the proposed 199A fix.

“The (tax breaks proposed by 199A) were huge and were really going to help farm families that are struggling because it will put more money in their pockets,” said Randy Hutchins, a corn and soybean grower near Edgerton, Kansas, who also operates a custom cutting business. “If farmers have more money in their pockets, they’re going to be spending more in the local community, so it would help stimulate the rural economy as well.”

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California Pistachios a $3.6 Billion Industry, Report Says

Though not the largest permanent crop by acreage in California, pistachios still have a significant economic impact in the state.

The report commissioned by the American Pistachio Growers (APG), released at last week’s annual meeting in Palm Desert, Calif., puts the economic benefit of growing and processing pistachios in California at nearly $3.6 billion based on just over 239,000 bearing acres from Red Bluff to Arvin. As that acreage climbs to an estimated 350,000 by 2023, the industry’s impact on the California economy will continue to grow.

California pistachio growers spent nearly $1 billion on goods and services in 2016. Processors spent almost an identical amount on similar goods and services, according to the report’s author, Dennis Tootelian of Tootelian & Associates in Sacramento.

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ASFMRA Meets With Key Congressional Leaders

ASFMRA meet with key congressional leaders in Washington DC late last week, including staff liaison to Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, House, & Urban Development and Sharon Whitaker Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Finance for the American Bankers Association (ABA). ASFMRA leadership along with Stephen Frerichs, AgVantage LLC meet periodically with members of Congress and other key organizations to ensure a common understanding of issues and concerns relative to the farm management and appraisal professions.

Nat DiBudou, AFM Named 2018 Distinguished California Agriculturalist

Nat DiBuduo, AFM, President and CEO of Allied Grape Growers has been named 2018 Distinguished California Agriculturalist by the California Chapter, ASFMRA. Mr. DiBuduo will be presented with the award at the Outlook 2018 Agribusiness Conference March 22nd at the Visalia Convention Center.

Full Press Release
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Ray L. Brownfield, ALC AFM, Receives Realtors® Land Institute APEX 2017 Top Twenty Producer Award

March 16, 2018 (Oswego) – Ray L. Brownfield, ALC AFM owner and managing broker of Land Pro LLC, has been named an APEX 2017 Top
Twenty Producer and as part of the 2017 APEX Producers Club by the Realtors® Land Institute. Ray received the award during the APEX Awards Program Ceremony on March 13 at RLI’s National Land Conference hosted this year in Nashville Tennessee.

“I feel very fortunate to have represented buyers and sellers of farmland in 2017, adding up to a total of 3,319 acres (fourteen farms) totaling
$24,560,000 in sales. This award is greatly appreciated,” said Brownfield upon receiving the award. Brownfield’s areas of expertise include agricultural farmland, private treaty brokerage, auctions and buyer or seller representation. He has been an active member of RLI for many years, serving as National President of the organization in 2012.

Full Press Release
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ASFMRA, AgPro magazine and Syngenta Open Nominations for 2018 Farm Manager of the Year Award

March 19, 2018 - The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers® (ASFMRA®), AgPro magazine and Syngenta are now accepting nominations for the 2018 Farm Manager of the Year Award. Visit to nominate an individual or team.

The Farm Manager of the Year Award recognizes farm managers whose dedication and commitment to agriculture has benefited their clients, the American consumer and our most precious commodity – the land.

Full Press Release
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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
Gregory Akers with Akers Group Appraisal Services in DeKalb, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Nathan Bartels with Shinn Appraisals LLC in Elk Creek, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Turner Christensen in Fresno, CA (California Chapter)
Luis F. Delgado-Robles with Appraisal Consulting Group PSC in Carolina, Puerto Rico
Coy Raymond Fisher with Farmers National Company in Omaha, NE (Nebraska Chapter)
Rod Hall in Sugar City, CO (Colorado Chapter)
George Hunger with Hunger Appraisal Services in Almont, MI (Michigan Chapter)
Jeff Jaronek with Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma in Corn, OK (Oklahoma Chapter)
Zachary Kallstrom with Big Bend Agricultural Appraisals, Inc. in Ephrata, WA (Washington Chapter)
Victor Kononenko in Lake Bluff, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Melissa Maurer with Farm Credit Services of America in Sioux Falls, SD (South Dakota Chapter)
Laura Shoemaker with Farm Credit East, ACA in Cooperstown, NY (Northeast Chapter)
Daniel Spencer with Baird and Brunson Land Management Group LLC in Collierville, TN (Mid-South Chapter)
Jeanette Spriggs with Farm Credit of New Mexico in Clovis, NM (New Mexico Chapter)
Austin Vanderwork with Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma in Woodward, OK (Oklahoma Chapter)
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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!

Mark Akers, ARA
Stephen Brunson, II, AFM
Phillip Christensen
Michael Kallstrom, ARA
Kim Larson
Colin McVaugh, ARA
LeeAnn Moss, PhD, ARA
Rebecca Stone, ARA
Sara Wilson, ARA
Larry Zook, ARA

Thank you to all who have referred someone and in some cases, more than one, to join ASFMRA.
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Make the Most of Your Membership - Mark Your Calendar

Learn about the benefits you receive from your ASFMRA membership through this informative meeting which will consist of a power point presentation and conference call. New Member Orientation meetings/calls are done on a quarterly basis. This is the perfect way to afford new members 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. You will also have the opportunity to learn about other new members to the Society. If you are a new member, you will receive an email invitation which 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. Join us to learn about the benefits you receive from your ASFMRA membership. The next meeting is: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12 pm ET
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Make Your Donation to the Education Foundation TodayMake Your Donation to the Education Foundation Today

The Education Foundation of ASFMRA depends on you, the members, Chapters, companies, and sponsors to make donations that will provide support for the development of new education, rewrites of course material to stay on the cutting edge, support the Leadership Institute, and much more. You can make your tax-deductible contribution to the Education Foundation by one or a combination of the following:
  •  Make a donation to the 2018 Education Foundation Auction – simply complete the Auction Donation form and return it to Hope Evans (
  • Include a donation along with your dues invoice in any amount that you would like.
  • Make a monthly gift, annual gift, semi-annual gift, or consider an Endowment.
  • Encourage your Chapters to make a donation.
  • Make a donation in Memory of or in Honor of a deceased fellow member.
  • Make a donation at any time throughout the year.

These types of donations can be a great way to show your support the Education Foundation that has been beneficial to so many. Any expression of support is greatly appreciated, and as you know, your contribution is tax-deductible. Thank you!
Donate Now
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