ASFMRA AgNews - Vol 13. Issue XXI [May 22, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 05-22-2018 08:36


House Farm Bill Fails to Pass

Last Friday morning, the House of Representatives failed to pass H.R. 2, the House Farm Bill by a vote of 198 -213. Thirty Republicans joined 183 Democrats in voting against the bill. No Democrat voted for passage. The bulk of the Republicans voting against were Freedom Caucus members who insisted on a vote on the Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) immigration bill before voting on the farm bill. They made this request Thursday evening as debate on the farm bill drew to a close. 
See How Your Member Voted

During House floor consideration the McClintock amendment to phase out commodity and crop insurance programs was defeated by an overwhelming vote of 34 for and 380 against. A special thank you to all of you that called your Representative to help defeat this bill. 
View the Roll Call Vote

This does not mean the H.R. 2 is dead. After the vote on passage, Speaker Ryan (R-WI) offered a motion to reconsider H.R. 2. The vote on the motion to reconsider was postponed. A motion to reconsider allows House Leadership to bring the bill back for a final passage vote within two legislative days per House rules.

More News:

Farmland Values Level Off As Farm Income Weakens

Farmland values continue on a steady trend throughout most of the country, according to the 2018 first-quarter reports from four Federal Reserve banks. Weakness remains for farmland values in the Great Plains, where values continue to drift slightly below year-ago levels. Yet, in the eastern Corn Belt and South, farmland values continue to mark year-over-year gains—especially in ranch or pastureland.

While farmland values have mostly stabilized, the financial standing for farmers remain weak. Due to lower prices and challenging weather conditions, farmers are facing their fifth year of lower farm income, liquidity and working capital. As a result, bankers are tightening their credit requirements.

Here’s a breakdown of land market moves from four Federal Reserve banks, highlighting the year-over-year changes.

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Secretary Perdue Names FSA Administrator

Secretary Perdue named Richard Fordyce as the next administrator of the Farm Service Agency. Mr. Fordyce most recently served as State Executive Director for FSA in Missouri. Prior to his appointment by the Trump Administration, Fordyce served as the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 2013 to 2017. In 2015, Fordyce was awarded the Missouri Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award and the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow Alumnus of the Year. He and his wife, Renee, have two children and grow soybeans, corn and beef cattle on the family farm.
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ASFMRA Joins over 300 Organizations Opposing Harmful Farm Bill Amendments

Last week, ASFMRA joined an American Farm Bureau Federation led letter opposing harmful farm bill amendments leading up to the House floor debate on H.R. 2, the House farm bill. Specifically, the letter urged members of Congress to reject three possible amendments most frequently reported by the media to gut crop insurance, undermine  sugar policy and impose unworkable payment limits. Ultimately, the sugar amendment and amendment to phase out commodity and crop insurance programs were defeated.
Read the Letter
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Supply, Demand Key to Balancing Valley's Water Needs

As general manager of a water district that serves about 27,000 agricultural acres in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Eric Averett knows the solutions to the region’s water shortages are fairly straight-forward.

He speaks of two knobs that valley water users can turn. One controls supply, and the other demand.

In past years, Averett says he figuratively had his hand slapped by his Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District board whenever he tried to adjust the knob that affected the supply of water to growers. But as droughts, surface water cutbacks and groundwater overdrafts confront districts throughout the Central Valley, all solutions are now on the table.

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Florida Land Values Strong Thanks to Rising Economy

Improving economic conditions are showing up in the results of the seventh edition of the “Lay of the Land Market Report.” The report provides an accounting of verified land sales from 2017. The update was released in April during the annual Lay of the Land Conference held at Champions Gate near Orlando.

Dean Saunders, owner of Lakeland-based Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate, publishes the report and hosts the conference. He said the real estate market is firing on all cylinders with elevated activity in all sectors of the market.

“Overall, the residential land market in Florida is very strong as a result of the improving economy, combined with the continued influx of almost 1,000 people per day to the state,” Saunders said. “As demand for residential development land increases, sales of agriculture land in the paths of progress increase. With the capital earned from selling land for high development prices, sellers are reinvesting in other rural agriculture land.”

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Iowa Land Values Have Hit Bottom, Moving Higher, Survey Says

AMES, Iowa— The value of Iowa farmland is seen as bottoming out and making gradual moves higher, according to survey results released Wednesday.

Those attending Iowa State University’s annual Soil Management Land Valuation Conference (SMLV) see a flat to slight decline in values short term, but rising values in the long term.

Since 1964, participants at this conference have been forecasting land markets six months, 18 months, two years, five years, and 20 years later.

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Commercial Solar Arrays On Farmland Cropping Up Bountifully—And Stirring Opposition

In farm fields from the Willamette Valley to the Kittitas Valley and east to Idaho, energy developers want to plant a new crop: commercial solar arrays. But a surge in utility-scale solar farm applications is generating pushback.

Farmland preservation advocates, who might normally be allies of green power, are trying to block solar projects on high-value cropland.

A farm field that borders right up against Interstate 5 between Salem and Portland probably drew little attention when it was growing grass seed. But now the field has sprouted 12 acres of solar panels. Row after long, shiny row angled a little bit toward the south toward the sun, it’s one of the more prominent examples of cropland turned into solar farm.

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FEATURE-New Farmers Squeezed Out as Development Alters U.S. Landscape

WASHINGTON, May 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Four years ago, Maeve Taylor and her husband decided to quit their jobs and move their family across the United States to start an organic dairy farm in New York.

The couple used a federal loan to buy 35 cows and started to learn their new trade on a patch of rented farmland.

But when they began looking for land of their own they hit their first major hurdle. Even in an area with a long agricultural tradition and lots of farmland, there was nothing to buy - at least at a price they could afford.

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Florida’s Orange Production Continues to Decline

USDA released its monthly citrus report, and the trend shows a continued spiral down for Florida orange production.

Florida’s orange production is now pegged at 45 million boxes for the 2017-2018 season, about 50,000 boxes lower than the April estimate and 9 million boxes less than what was predicted at the start of the season, according to the May 10 report.

The recent numbers illustrate a decline of more than 80 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.

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ASFMRA Well Represented at NACAO

ASFMRA CEO Brian Stockman and President Dave GaNun, ARA were present at the North American Conference of Appraisal Organizations last week.  They, along with other ASFMRA members and members of other appraisal organization discussed challenges and changes facing the industry.

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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

New Members
Anthony Anker in Murdock, MN (Minnesota and South Dakota Chapters)
Bryan Ashley in Tallulah, LA (Mid-South Chapter)
J. Kyle Dudley with Kyle Dudley Appraisals in Canyon, TX (Texas Chapter)
Katherine Duffy in Pontiac, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Marty Engle with MidAtlantic Farm Credit in Del Air, MD (Northeast Chapter)
David Fisher with David P. Fisher Land Co. in Indianola, MS (Mid-South Chapter)
Jeff Harris with Jeff Harris Real Estate Appraiser in Clayton, NM (New Mexico Chapter)
Roy Holliday with Hancock Farmland Services in Prosser, WA (Washington Chapter)
Phillip Hoskins with Farm Credit of Western Arkansas in Huntsville, AR (Mid-South Chapter)
Roberta Leal in Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota and Texas Chapters)
Jarred LeVeque in Smithsburg, MD (Illinois and Northeast Chapters)
Erik Mason with Farm Credit Mid-America in Albany, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Ashley McEwen in Bushnell, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Elizabeth Neshem in Fargo, ND (North Dakota Chapter)
Chelsea O’Diam with Farm Credit Mid-America in Farmersville, OH (Ohio Chapter)
Austin Pletsch with First Illinois Ag Group in Decatur, IL (Illinois Chapter)
Carrie Seidel with Hertz Farm Management in Waverly, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Noah Steiner with Upper Midwest Management Corp. in New Ulm, MN (Minnesota Chapter)
Landon Stricklin in Caruthersville, MO (Mid-South Chapter)
Kalleigh Tharp in Bloomfield, IA (Iowa Chapter)
Eli West in Spokane, WA (Washington 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!

Molly Brumbley
Clayton Caver, AFM, ARA, RPRA
Timothy Cobb, AFM
Calvin Dickson, AFM
Carl Evers, AFM
Logan Frye
Jeffrey Hignight, AFM
Ryan McKnight
Ward Nefstead, Ph.D.
Jennifer Riethman
Jim Wiedeman                   

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

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 held 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 scheduled orientation will be –

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9 am PT / 10 am MT / 11 am CT / 12 pm ET
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Support the Education Foundation - Donate Today!

You, the members, Chapters, companies, and sponsors support the Education Foundation of ASFMRA which makes the development of new education, rewrites of course material to stay on the cutting edge, support the Leadership Institute, and much more possible. 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 pledge of a one-time gift, 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!

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