ASFMRA AgNews - Vol. 13 Issue XXX [July 24, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 24 days ago

  

Farm Survey Offers Glimpse at Changing Face of Agriculture

Farming in Iowa has changed significantly since the first Iowa State University Farmland
Ownership Tenure Survey was taken in the 1940s. The most recent survey, released earlier this
month, analyzed trend data from 2012-2017 and offered a glimpse of the changing face of
agriculture at the state level.

Advantage Realty and Land Management broker and manager Sam Harper pointed to the level of
farms owned debt free as one of the most telling statistics revealed in the report.

"Probably the number that sort of surprised me a little bit was 82 percent of the farm ground
is owned now debt free," Harper said. "Some of that, the report said, was due to the higher
grain prices several years ago and the cattle markets being better. I think that is a really
high number, 82 percent is owned and debt free. That is amazing. There is a lot of equity out
there."

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Survey: A Third of Farmland Owners Over 75

AMES, Iowa — An Iowa State University study shows that the age of Iowa’s farmland owners
continues to rise, with a record high 35 percent aged 75 years or older in 2017.

Sixty percent were over the age of 65, which is 5 percentage points higher than 2007 and twice
the level recorded in 1982, say Wendong Zhang and Alejandro Plastina, assistant professors and
Extension economists at Iowa State, who released results of the 2017 Farmland Ownership and
Tenure survey at a press conference June 28 in Ames.

Conducted by Iowa State University since the 1940s, the Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey —
completed every five years — focuses on forms of ownership, tenancy and transfer of farmland in
Iowa, and characteristics of landowners. The latest survey was conducted in July 2017.

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New Tax Law Creates Challenges for Farmers, Tax Experts

File your tax return on a postcard? That was one of the goals supporters cited while promoting
the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 before it was passed by Congress and signed by the president
last December.

Some taxpayers may be able to use such a “short form” when they file their 2018 returns next
year. For many others, including farmers, the process is likely to be more complicated,
according to Iowa State University’s Dr. Kristine Tidgren.

Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at ISU, discussed the new tax
law, which contains the most significant changes in the tax code in nearly 30 years, during a
presentation at the Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference at the University
of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.

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Tile is One Way to Add Value to Farmland

Low on-farm income has farmers wondering how they can add value to their operation in the wake
of low commodity prices. Expansion isn't always an option without adding a significant amount
of debt, but tiling may be.

After installing tile, producers may see a yield bump due to less plant stress, less disease,
better plant stand, and lower compaction. Other benefits can include earlier planting, better
harvest conditions, and less wear and tear on equipment.

While an owner-operator reaps the most benefit from installing tile, a tenant can also benefit.
If this is an option you'd like to explore, it's probably best to sit down with your landlord
and negotiate a longer rental agreement to ensure you see the benefit of the tile.

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Farm Bill 2018 Conference Committee Members Announced

Farm bill conference committee members have been named.

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Mexico Pushes for NAFTA Deal by End of Summer

Mexico is redoubling its efforts to reach a Nafta agreement with the U.S. and Canada by the end
of August to increase certainty for investors and take the heat off incoming President Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to three people familiar with the negotiations.

A deal next month would allow Lopez Obrador to focus on domestic priorities when he takes
office Dec. 1, while shielding him from any potential criticism involving the outcome of the
negotiations, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing private talks.
Republicans in November’s midterms could also tout the deal as proof that U.S. President Donald
Trump made good on his 2016 presidential campaign pledge to fix or abandon Nafta.

High-level Nafta negotiations are set to resume this week after a two-month hiatus for Mexico’s
July 1 presidential elections. While the nations had said progress was made earlier this year,
the pact’s future hangs in doubt. Trump last week repeated his threat to pursue individual
deals with Mexico and Canada, and the three nations still remain far apart on major points
almost a year after the negotiations first began.

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New Laws Will Affect Farmland Inheritance, DNR Fees

While most Iowa farmers are aware of the new law passed this spring that increases funding for
water quality programs in the state, they may not be aware of a number of other new laws that
went into effect July 1.

One change that has gone under the radar is the new partition law, according to Kristine
Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University.
This piece of legislation, Senate File 2175, could be important to those who inherit farmland
in the state.

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What to Consider with Sale-Lease Back

Each month in Wallaces Farmer magazine, the Timely Tips panel answers questions sent by
readers. Members of the Timely Tips panel are Alejandro Plastina and Wendong Zhang, Extension
economists at Iowa State University; Leslie Miller, Iowa State Savings Bank, Knoxville; and Rob
Stout, Master Farmer, Washington, Iowa.

With low crop prices and sticky downward cash rents, I need to shore up my cash flow. I hear a
lot of chatter about farmland sale-lease backs. As I understand it, I sell one of my farms. As
part of the negotiation, the buyer agrees to lease it back to me for an extended period,
possibly five years. How do you view this approach relative to me simply putting up more
collateral to satisfy my current lender and his regulators? If I go the sale-lease back route,
should I also attempt to get a buy-back provision for the end of the lease term in the sale-
lease back contract?

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Washington to Showcase U.S. Products as Trade Battles Loom

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will showcase American-made
products ranging from beef jerky and cowboy boots to the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet
on Monday, as his administration wages trade battles on a series of fronts.

A White House spokeswoman said on Sunday that Trump would make remarks at the exhibit designed
to demonstrate the administration's "commitment to ensuring more products are made in America."
Vice President Mike Pence, six Cabinet secretaries and some dozen other senior officials will
also attend.

The U.S. Commerce Department held a hearing on Thursday into its investigation over whether
imported vehicles and parts pose a national security risk. All major automakers, including Ford
Motor Co, which will have an F-150 pickup truck on display at the White House exhibit, oppose
imposing vehicle and parts tariffs of up to 25 percent.

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